Raising funds and awareness for youth homelessness
A group of Eden Boys’ School pupils swapped their comfy beds for cardboard boxes last Friday, joining hundreds of other fundraisers at the St Basil’s SleepOut in the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral.
This annual event in the homeless charity’s calendar aims to raise awareness of homelessness among young people across the West Midlands. On Friday 24 November almost 700 people from organisations across the region came together to get a taste of sleeping rough, while raising money through sponsorship.
Among them were 13 pupils from Year 8 and 9 and heads of year Mr Bhayat and Mr Masood. Our boys worked as a team to build their shelter for the night, using cardboard boxes and plastic sheeting. They heard from young people who have turned their lives around with the support of St Basil’s before being fed and settling down to try and get some sleep.
Year 9 pupil Anis said, “My St Basil’s SleepOut experience was an eye opener. I was able to see how people that are not as fortunate as us live without a roof over their heads.”
Year 9 pupil Unais commented, “It was very cold outside and many of us found it really hard to sleep as the temperature dropped to minus 1. This event has made me more grateful for the things I have, and most of all my bed.”
Year 8 pupil Dayaan said, “I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to attend such a great event. I now know how those less fortunate than us live and sleep in the cold. We must all be grateful of what we have.”
Mr Farhan Bhayat said. ““This was the second time our school has supported St Basil’s Sleepout. It was a profound experience for our pupils to spend a night on the street; it certainly helped them to gain a deeper understanding of the causes of youth homelessness and consider ways in which our school can help.”
For more information about the work of St Basil’s, visit www.stbasils.org.uk.
Read our pupils’ accounts of the St Basil’s SleepOut on Friday 24 November:
The Big Sleep Out! The day I had been waiting for had finally arrived! As I waited for the gates to open, I gazed around the Cathedral and saw a magnificent crowd of enthusiastic people ready to take on the cold night.
When we got ourselves ready we received our share of cardboard boxes and plastic bags. Alongside the help of all the other students and teachers, we arranged a small place to survive until 4am. Unfortunately, when we completed the cardboard and plastic house, there wasn’t enough room for me and my friends, so we built another cardboard house to cater for the rest.
To create this piece of art we first taped down the plastic bags after ripping them to increase the size of them and minimizing the amount of bags used. We taped the cardboard onto the bags for sturdiness and in the middle we used a pole to attach bags and that was the roof over our heads. We finished and went into the warm Cathedral and listened to the winners of the hut designs and later on in the evening we had our photos taken, we had a laugh and we socialised with other people outside of our area.
Overall, the Sleep-out was a great success and everyone really enjoyed it and it was a once in a lifetime experience and I would encourage people to attend. I can’t wait to go next year.
My St Basil’s experience was an eye opener, I was able to see how people that are not as fortunate as us live without a roof over their heads. The St Basil’s staff were so welcoming and generous, they provided us with cardboard boxes and plastic bags which helped us build our shelter for the night. In addition to this, people provided us with hot drinks and food.
It was such a fantastic experience for me and my fellow peers and I hope we can experience this again in the future.
Thank you, St Basil’s.
On Friday 24th November 2017, we went to Pigeon Park to experience how those that are less fortunate than us live their lives. Once we got there, it was freezing but we made it.
We registered and received our tickets alongside a cardboard box. We had to build some sort of a shelter but I was confused at what to create and what ideas to use, so we all got together and used the idea of Mr. Masood. We made a rectangular structure and covered it with a plastic bag that prevented any wind or rain from entering.
After building our cardboard structure, we took a walk around the park to explore some of the other designs. There were some brilliant structures put together and we all looked on in amazement. We then returned to our base and got some rest. It was very cold but I guess this was all part of the experience.
I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to attend such a great event. I now know how those less fortunate than us live and sleep in the cold. We must all be grateful of what we have.
On Friday 24th November I took part in a charity fundraising event which involved us sleeping outside. The aim of the charity was to get young people off the street and experience how those that are less fortunate than we live.
We all met at the park at 9pm and went in to register. The St Basil’s staff gave a cardboard box each and a plastic bag to build our shelter. As a group we came together and decided to build a rectangular wall and a plastic cover on top to prevent us from getting wet.
After building our shelter with the help of Mr Bhayat, Mr Masood and Mr Rahman, we decided to take a stroll around the park and meet other people that were taking part. We stumbled across a stall that was providing vegetable samosas and hot drinks, we all decided to tuck in and it was very nice of the local community to provide such snacks.
We then returned back to camp and jumped straight into our sleeping bags as it was time for bed. It was very cold outside and many of us found it really hard to sleep as the temperature had dropped to minus 1.
Finally, the time had arrived to attend the cathedral service and listen to the individuals share their experiences of how St Basil’s helped them get off the street and get a job. Then it was 3am and it was time to go home. My overall experience of this event made me more grateful for the things I have and most of all my bed.
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Added By: Eden Boys' School, Birmingham | Date Added: 30th Nov 2017 | Posted In: Latest News