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A ‘Home Edition’ Sleep Out for Pam

While most of us were snuggling down under the duvet covers in our cosy homes on Friday evening, Pam a church member at Clevedon Baptist Church, along with 26 others around the region, slept outside in her garden to raise money for Bristol’s inHope charity to help provide food and shelter for people facing homelessness.

Pam chose to support inHope as they have a women’s night shelter which offers emergency temporary accommodation to vulnerable and homeless women. She told me “I remember supporting someone in my work as a bereavement counsellor whose daughter had been homeless on the streets and ended up dying. I remember her father saying that she just couldn’t find the right hostel for herself.

The needs of the homeless have been highlighted through the lockdown this year and I just felt that it was a good time to do this.”

This was actually Pam’s fourth sleep-out for charity, her first was ten years ago when she was in her mid sixties, and inHope were delighted to have her on board again:

“Twenty-seven of our supporters are taking part in the Sleep Out this year, which we had to adapt to be an at home event because of Covid-19. We have young families and a church youth group taking part, as well as supporters like Pam, from the other end of the age bracket!  We are so grateful to Pam for choosing to give up the comforts of her warm bed for one night and taking on the challenge in order to raise money for our work with homeless people in Bristol. As a Christian charity, reliant on voluntary donations, we need all the support we can get, especially in the challenging times ahead.

The official count of rough sleepers taken by Bristol City Council last November, was 96 people. This was an increase on the previous year, and due to the economic impacts of Covid-19, we are expecting homelessness to increase in 2020 / 2021. You can find out more about what we do and how you can get involved via our website: www.inhope.ukinHope Communications and Supporter Engagement Officer Sarah Luckwell

As Pam arranged her things for the night ahead she explained that for her this is the least she could do when so many people sleep in much worse conditions night after night, “…after all” she said “just one night is nothing”.

Over the weekend Pam sent me an update about how she got on:

“Well, the night  went quite well but when I got down into my sleeping bag and my legs started aching I remembered that’s what I had experienced last time, and that was why I put four layers of tights on with the aim of keeping my legs warm!

As I looked up  into the vast night sky from the cardboard box which my head was sheltered in, it struck me that this was an opportunity to pray and thank the Lord for all the blessings I had experienced .

I found myself throughout the night dozing, waking up, trying to get comfortable and looking at my watch just about every two hours. Finally when it seemed to be turning very cold I looked once more at my watch and was relieved to see that it read 7.30am and I felt it was a suitable time to pack up and go indoors!

The whole experience has brought home to me how glad I am to have a roof over my head and not have to experience sleeping outside more than once a year.”

Pam raised a fantastic £600 for inHope on Friday evening. Comments and messages from friends and family have been a real encouragement to Pam, including a WhatsApp from one of her teenage grandsons saying ‘Congratulations I am very proud of you, I am not sure that many Grandmas last night were sleeping outside in a plastic bag for charity!”

Posted by Alex Drew