A vulnerable night in the cold to help others

A fund-raising team, led by Stephanie Jones (second right), who slept rough to support homeless people. Left to right Kim Horton, Tjay Morey,  Shakira Browne, Stephanie Jones, Keeley Bingham

A fund-raising team, led by Stephanie Jones (second right), who slept rough to support homeless people. Left to right Kim Horton, Tjay Morey, Shakira Browne, Stephanie Jones, Keeley Bingham

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Spending one night under the stars was tough, so imagine what it would be like to sleep rough every night.

A group of six friends slept out in the outdoor market area in Preston as part of a move to raise awareness and money for the homeless during the coldest season of the year.

The fund-raisers highlight their Help the Homeless campaign

The fund-raisers highlight their Help the Homeless campaign

So far, almost £1,000 has been raised, which includes £453 from a Just Giving page.

This money will be used to make up essential gift packs for the city’s homeless community.

Organiser Stephanie Jones, 28, from Ashton, said: “The homeless night was a real eye opener, a very humbling experience. It was very cold and even as a group of six, we felt quite vulnerable.

“I almost felt like I was cheating going back to a warm home and bed the following day - a luxury many don’t have.

Barchy Bear kept fund-raisers company during a sleep-out for homeless people

Barchy Bear kept fund-raisers company during a sleep-out for homeless people

“The packages that we make will be handed out by ourselves and a group of people that have volunteered via social media from December 20.

“Any we don’t hand out, and any money left over, will then be donated to The Foxton Centre who will continue to make sure they are given to the homeless.

“We are so grateful for all the money raised. It will all be put to good use and hopefully offer some safety and warmth to some of Preston’s homeless this Christmas. Thank you to all involved.”

Amongst the group was Kim Horton, general manager at Barchester’s Sherwood Court Care Home, in Fulwood, who took Barchy Bear, the mascot for Barchester’s Charitable Foundation.

Residents of Sherwood Court Care Home and their relatives have shown huge support for the cause, donating generously and giving food, helping Kim to raise £130 and a large hamper of food.

Kim said: “This experience was very humbling and made me appreciate how lucky I am to be able to come home to a warm bed. We are all so pleased with the support and sponsorship we received and the money raised will be used to support those in need at this very difficult and cold time of year.”

Stephanie will be at Plungington Community Centre on Sunday December 11 from 2pm until 4pm collecting clothing donations.

If anyone would like to donate money to be used to buy essential items for people living on the streets in Preston this Christmas, visit http://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stephanie-jones-33