Last night I slept out on the streets of Woking and let me tell you, IT WAS COLD!
I felt like a bit of a fraud to be honest because we were SO wrapped up, 2 pairs of everything (including sleeping bags) and that’s not the way that it happens in real life.
The point of the exercise was to raise awareness of homeless- specifically in Woking. Did it work?… I’m not sure yet but it certainly opened my eyes.
My friend and I took part in an event, organised by the Ypod , the local press came down so fingers crossed we will be in the papers next week.
We met up at a local Church- which was open for us all night with tea, coffee and soup, we were with a group of friendly people and, if the weather had been really bad, my friends car was moments away and we could have driven back to our real lives. As it was it was freezing but dry and I spent my time chatting, tweeting and texting. Being alone on the streets without the preparation, technology and friends that I had would make the experience utterly dreadful, isolating and frightening to say the least.
I didn’t feel able to ask people for sponsorship because it seems thats all I do these days but I did think a great deal about the real homelessness issues, which ever town, city or space they find themselves in. Homelessness is not an easy option, you must be feeling pretty low to consider sleeping on the streets and taking your chances against other, perhaps more experienced, perhaps dangerous and probably hurt, isolated and scared people too. There are so many risks once you are homeless and it is SO tough to get help, once you are homeless it seems very tough to get back into the real world as you are invisable to the benefits system, most of the public and you are vulnerable to the weather, crime, abuse and mental and physical illness.
As I crawled back into my bed this morning to watch Andy Murray lose the final of the Melbourne Cup I could not imagine homelessness being my life and I will certainly be happy to do more to raise awareness of this issue again.
Keep safe and well all.