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December 10, 2018 | Silver Shemmings
Thank you very much for all of your kind donations for our Sleep Out in November!
We started our evening in the Collections Gallery with some of the other companies and supporters of the Cardinal Hume Centre. It was great to meet other participants whilst viewing some of the exquisite art on display at the Royal Academy. It also gave us the chance to hear an account from one of the ex-clients, who is now doing very well and working at The Passage.
Once we had our participants’ photo, we were shown to the Lovelace Courtyard, where we found already flattened cardboard boxes which we could use to line our sleeping area. Our team decided the best possible sleeping arrangement would be to hoist our tarpaulin around the famous RA sign and a nearby tree to give us maximum protection from the rain that was forecasted for early morning. After setting up our area, we shared a small meal of bread and soup with some hot drinks and around 11.30pm, headed to bed.
I first woke up around 3am to find that my colleague had rolled into the space I had planned to roll back to, so was forced to edge out closer to the open side where the wind was blowing into. Though it was closer to the elements; it was further from the snoring that was directly next to me! I eventually fell back asleep probably around 3.45am. At c.4.50am I awoke again to feel the rain being washed over my face and the side of my sleeping bag. I also became aware that the tarpaulin had a good lake directly above my head. I decided around 5.30am to call it a night and get up and try to dry off before heading home to shower before work at 10am.
It’s been fantastic to still receive donations since 6th November and we are overjoyed to reach just over £1,000! It was certainly an experience, and not one I’d advise taking lightly. I think I exclaimed around 6am to one of the volunteers running the event that I might repeat this event once every ten years, up to the age of 50!
by Cat Westmacott
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