Sleeping Rough

sleep rough 1The idea for participating in sleep rough came while the A Level students were researching homelessness as part of their Social Issues unit for A2.  Actually I  showed them the article on the website as a joke  saying “you would never do this, would you girls?” They all decided that yes they would.  The process started with a visit from the fundraiser for Peterborough Soup Kitchen, who explained that by far the biggest cause of homelessness is relationship breakdown. He reminded us of what I had heard before, you are never more than three missed salary payments away from homelessness. In other words, it can happen to anyone.
sleep rough 2The evening arrived and it seemed great fun at the beginning, watching Michaela set up her cardboard box, meeting friends of Dani and Katie who came along to support and laugh at my woolly hat.  There was a great jazz band for two hours, I had a chicken soup from the van, and then we actually had to lie down on the pavement.  The worst bit? Looking at my watch to find that it was only 3.20 am.

It was cold, it was noisy,  first chatting then snoring, it was too light. Michaela’s box cut out quite a lot of light and noise I think, and she got a bit of sleep, but Dani, Katie and I got less than 2 hours.

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Now that it is all over, I realise that homelessness is more than just having no roof over your head.  You feel vulnerable, fragile, weak and depressed.  It is great to hear how much is being done by volunteers in Peterborough.  Oh yes, any suggestions for more cheerful Social Issues that we can study next year, gratefully received!!

Mrs S Blackmore

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