Deepdale Stadium became home for the night to ATA and MTTA tutors Michael and John-Mark on Friday 15th November.
Taking part in Preston North End’s Big Sleep Out, an appeal to raise awareness of homelessness and funds for local charity the Foxton Centre, Michael and John-Mark joined over 300 other people in bedding down for the night on cardboard mattresses in one of the stadium’s concourses. The idea behind the sleep out was to gain just a small insight into what it is like to have no home or warm bed to return to at night.
Part of the wider Performing Arts department’s annual charity work, the idea came from Student Manager, Kelly, who volunteers on a weekly basis at the Foxton Centre. The entrance fee for Friday evening’s sleep out was raised by kind-hearted learners, who gave up their time to plan and deliver a successful open mic event, raising the £200 needed to send Michael and John-Mark to Deepdale for the night.
Marking the 50th anniversary of the Foxton Centre and with an overall target of £50,000, all monies raised at the Big Sleep Out go towards the Foxton Centre’s wish to buy and renovate a house in Preston, for those sleeping rough in the city.
Speaking ahead of the event, Michael said:
“I am looking forward to the Big Sleep Out but I’m very apprehensive about the cold. We have been trying to come up with ideas to keep ourselves entertained and warm and are fortunate enough to be able to take layers and snacks with us. Whilst we are fully aware that the experience will only provide us with a small insight into what those experiencing homelessness deal with on a daily basis, it allows us to represent the efforts of the wider Performing Arts department here at Preston’s College, in supporting a local charity to take a step closer to achieving their fundraising target.”
Despite experiencing extreme cold, a lack of sleep and some severe snoring, Michael and John-Mark were delighted to hear that the event had not only raised but completely exceeded the initial £50,000!
Post event, John-Mark added:
“I was apprehensive before Friday evening’s sleep out, with concerns about the cold and boredom specifically. However, when we got to Deepdale, there was a great sense of community and this really mattered and helped everyone who was participating. I was so proud to represent our learners, after their hard work raising the funds and I’m delighted to have contributed to the charity reaching their overall target.”
Well done to all involved!