Record number take part in Sleep Out for homeless

Sanctuary Trust Sleep Out 2023. Vini Jones plays some music on his guitar Picture: Abi Nance (37035629)

A HOMELESSNESS charity has praised all those who took part in its annual Sleep Out fundraiser at the weekend – after a record turnout despite concerns that the weather would put people off.

More than 140 Islanders swapped their beds for a cold, concrete floor in Pier Road car park on Friday night for the Sanctuary Trust event.

The Sleep Out has so far raised over £30,000 to help the trust provide accommodation and support to men with a range of issues, including homelessness and addiction.

In a post on its Facebook page, the charity said: “To everyone who supported the event by donating, to our sponsor Andium Homes, to the many other businesses and individuals who volunteered their services and support to make the event what it was, to our staff, trustees and residents for everything they do, to all the awesome people who took part.

“You have done an amazing thing.”

Earlier in the month, there were concerns that Storm Ciarán may have affected sign-ups for the event – with Sanctuary Trust chair Tim Ringsdore stating he hoped there would be a last-minute “surge” in participants.

Fundraiser Abi Nance said that she was “delighted” with the record attendance numbers – revealing that around £32,000 had been raised as of yesterday.

She added that the youngest participant was eight, while the oldest was 74.

“You never know with these things how many people are going to turn up on the night – it’s wonderful that so many people came to support the charity and the work that we do.

“We will be keeping the donations page open until the end of the month. It is continuing to go up, which is delightful, and obviously really important in terms of funding for the charity.”