DETERMINED Scouts slept outdoors in an impromptu cardboard village in Dunchurch last weekend – helping to ‘keep the heating and lights on’ for Rugby’s homelessness charity.
A group of 16 boys and girls aged nine to 14 from the 1st Dunchurch Scouts spent the night in sleeping bags on The Green in the centre of the village to raise funds for Hope4.
They have beaten their fund-raising target of £2,000 target – and donations are still coming in.
Speaking the morning after the challenge, 10-year-old Willow said: “I’m tired and cold and I don’t know how homeless people can do this every single night – it must be so terrible. I feel very lucky to have somewhere to go home to.”
Fellow Scout Edward, 11, added: “It was an experience to remember – but not to do again! But we’ve raised enough money to make it worth it. I think that will really help.”
Scout Leader Anita Ward – one of the adult helpers on the night – said it had been a ‘very long night’ and a ‘tough challenge’.
She said: “While of course they love camping, this is a very different experience. They didn’t use tents or enjoy any luxuries – they spent the night in sleeping bags and on cardboard without proper shelter or comforts.
“The Scouts are really interested in the issues and also concerned about why people become homeless in our modern world. They’re really keen to do what they can to help and are aiming to raise lots of money for Hope 4 Rugby.”
Hope4 Chair Diana Mansell said she was very grateful to the Scouts and their leaders.
She said: “I popped along to the event as the Scouts were setting up. It was a clear cold night even at 7.30pm, but they were clearly excited about the night ahead. The fundraising has been amazing, and we are so very grateful to everyone involved and all who have donated.
“It costs around £450 a day to keep the centre open, so this donation is really vital in helping us to keep on doing what we do. Our utilities costs will be around £8,000 over the next year so this donation will really help us to keep the heating and lights on, and run our showers and laundry for clients – all very vital services.
“Well done everyone, I hope you weren’t too tired the next day!”
The fund-raising event came about after the Scouts were visited by Hope4 Centre Manager Adi Robinson, who taught the group about the issues that cause homelessnesses.
He said: “Sleeping out in the open for one night will give them a taste of what it’s like to be homeless. I suggested they think about what it would be like if they had to sleep out every night.
“It’s really important that young people know about the homeless situation, and this is a very positive event to support the community.”
Visit https://tinyurl.com/bdzf5fsn to donate.