Staying up late was always something you looked forward to as you grew up. Attending a party, given late leave, going away with friends, special occasions! And staying up all night was even better – a really eventful and fun time! But what if you had no choice because you were simply too scared to go to sleep, because you were sleeping rough, homeless or in an unsafe environment. I had never really considered this notion and reading of the experiences of some young people filled me with anger and a desire to do something to rectify this situation for at least a few, but also simply raise awareness of this ongoing situation in our towns and cities. We recognise and appreciate the dedication and hard work of many charities supporting young people in this regard, and in particular our charity partners Centrepoint. So when we were invited to join their annual STAY-UP event on 28 May to raise funds to support young people, and help prevent homelessness, we simply had to be involved. This was definitely going to be a Friday night like no other! For us staying up for one night, in the comfort and safety of home, was hardly putting ourselves in a similar situation but it was a challenge and showed support. A little team of 5 ladies started the evening with a Zoom check in knowing we would be awake until 8am the following morning!
After a long day at work it was going to be a challenge that was clear. We had the luxury of planning our night with TV box sets, treat boxes, zoom calls, movies and facials! We were joined by baby Matilda on her night time feed which was great fun. We chatted, shared stories, laughed and supported one another. The toughest time was from 4am onwards and so we planned a Facetime sunrise walk, setting off about 4:15am with the task of a sunset view and photo! Manchester won the best sunrise that morning, with Glasgow a hazy affair over the city, and Edinburgh a definite eerie haar over the Forth Rail Bridge! We walked until 5:30am and found the last 2 hours difficult but we knew we had a bed to look forward to and safety. We had support and friendship throughout, but what of those forced into this situation. Many supported us through kind donations and we thank you all, raising over £2000 for this amazing charity. If you are interested in supporting Centrepoint, there are many ways you can be involved. Visit their website for further information. https://centrepoint.org.uk/