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Silver Shemmings Ash team braves Sleepout Challenge to tackle poverty and homelessness by Cat Westmacott

October 16, 2018 | Silver Shemmings

Sleepout Challenge 2018

A dedicated team from Silver Shemmings Ash are grabbing their sleeping bags, braving the cold and spending a night sleeping outside the Royal Academy of Arts on 6 November – generating vital funds to prevent homelessness

The all night Sleepout challenge event will raise money for the Cardinal Hume Centre, a Westminster-based charity which has been helping people overcome poverty and the threat of homelessness for more than 30 years. The Centre provides a wide range of services – including accommodation and support for 32 young people – helping those in need turn their lives around. Last year more than 1,200 people in need came to the Centre for help.

All those braving the cold will be given a soup supper before bedding down for the night, armed only with their sleeping bags, warm clothes and waterproofs. In doing so, they will be drawing attention to growing problem of homelessness in the UK. Last year 4,700 people in England were recorded as sleeping out on the streets on any given night, while an estimated 12,500 people in London alone were living in dangerous and insecure accommodation.

The Silver Shemmings Ash team aim to raise £3,000 and supporters can help them reach their ambitious target by going to

Together, these donations can make an enormous difference to some of the most vulnerable and isolated people in the capital:
• £12 can pay for a young person living at the Cardinal Hume Centre to travel to college for a week
• £25 can pay for a kitchen ‘starter pack’ so a young homeless person living at the Centre can learn to cook.
• £50 can pay for bedding and towels for a young person when they move into their new room

Cat Westmacott said  “We are very proud to support the Cardinal Hume Centre. As well as accommodating 32 young homeless people, the charity runs a range of services supporting hundreds of vulnerable and isolated people facing poverty or homelessness each year. It’s great to see our team brave the cold and raise money for such an important cause. Please spare a thought for them all on 6 November and show you’re your support by donating to their JustGiving page. Supporters’ generosity will make a huge difference to people in desperate need.”

Senior Corporate Partnerships Officer, Patricia Marron, said: “Our Sleepout Challenge is about drawing attention to the rising number of people living on the streets, or in dangerous or insecure accommodation. The Cardinal Hume Centre does vital work to prevent people ending up in such terrible situations. Last year around 1,200 people came to us for help. With our support, they have been able to overcome huge challenges and turn their lives around. Thanks to our sleepers and the generosity of their supporters, we can show our determination to help vulnerable and isolated people in our community look to a better future.”

• The Cardinal Hume Centre enables people to gain the skills they need to overcome poverty and homelessness. The charity is based in the heart of Westminster and works with homeless young people, badly housed families and others in need.
• Each year the Centre welcomes more than 1,400 people. The staff work with respect, integrity and compassion to help each person find a home, become financially stable and have a better life.
• To donate to the Cardinal Hume Centre, please go to
• The Cardinal Hume Centre is a registered charity: 1090836
• For further details on the Cardinal Hume Centre, please contact Anstey Burnett, Head of Communications, on


Although some people opt to raise money doing something they love, we are not and anyone who knows me will know that sleeping rough is not my idea of fun. I would therefore encourage anybody reading this to dig deep and support this vital cause.


I am volunteering myself to sleep out in the cold (and probably wet) courtyard at the Royal Academy for one night with strangers and a couple of colleagues. I may not be the most glamorous of girls, but I can tell you I am not looking forward to potentially waking up in a puddle!

I am fortunate and incredibly grateful that I have never been in a position where sleeping rough has become necessary. However, having lived in London most of my life, I have always been very much aware of those who are bound by poverty. When a rough sleeper asks me to spare some change I often do; or I’ll offer to buy a sandwich, (this is a grey area up for discussion). Fortunately, charities like the Cardinal Hume Centre offer a much more well-rounded option in the services they provide to their clients, which is why I urge you to support the centre and our Sleepout on 6th November.


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