Teens sleep rough in Royston to raise funds for the homeless

Group sleep-out arranged by Hannah Foley.

Group sleep-out arranged by Hannah Foley. - Credit: Archant

A 17-year-old from Royston says a charity sleep out challenge she tackled with friends made her reflect on the constant dangers that homeless people face.

Hannah Foley and 12 fellow teenagers slept outside in temperatures reaching –2oC on Friday night, raising a total so far of £1,100 for Jimmy’s Night Shelter in Cambridge.

Hannah said: “The night was restless and I was very uncomfortable, waking multiple times before it was finally time to rise.

“I was glad to have my nice, warm sleeping bag and layers of warm clothes. Comparatively, what I had was a privilege.

“It really made me think what it must be like to actually live on the streets, not knowing what’s around you and what may happen at any moment.

“It’s terrifying to think of the constant dangers that face homeless people.

“I feel so lucky that I don’t have to live on the streets every day.

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“Having to rely on the kindness of strangers just to stay alive must be harrowing.”

The group slept outside in Hannah’s grandmother’s orchard in Smiths End Lane.

Fellow Hills Road Sixth Form College student Xin Yi said: “At 5am I was still wide awake. I was intensely aware of the cold, my sleeping bag was slightly damp and I lay on top of my hands in order to try and give them some warmth.

“I might not understand fully what it’s like to be homeless. However, this I know – sleeping rough is not comfortable and it is not fun, especially when you are alone.

“It is a situation that no one wants to be in, yet many are often in due to a series of unfortunate events in their lives.”

Xin Yi and Hannah plan to host a live band night in June at The Junction in Cambridge to raise further funds for their cause.

If you want to donate to help Hannah and Xin Yi raise money for Jimmy’s Night Shelter, go to www.gofundme.com/liqds4.