Students step out for the homeless

Posted on Wednesday 14 November 2012

Raising money for local Step by Step charity

On a bitterly cold, wet November night, 50 students and 5 staff from The Sixth Form College Farnborough left the warmth of their beds to raise money for local charity, Step by Step.

The event, entirely organised by students now running for the fourth consecutive year, results from the deep partnership which exists between the College and the Aldershot based charity which deals with homeless youngsters in the Rushmoor area.
Sponsorship money is still flooding in but Student Charities Officer, Ollie Cole is confident that last year’s record amount of £8,000 will be beaten this year: “It was an amazing night – putting up with the adverse weather was really worth it after hearing such life-changing the stories from the guys at Step By Step. I hope we can raise as much as possible for this great cause”.

The evening began with a presentation from staff and clients from Step By Step who talked about the charity’s work, sharing their personal stories of how they came to be homeless. This powerful start to the evening brought home the purpose of the event: not only to raise much needed funds but also to raise students’ awareness of the issues by experiencing something of what it might be like to sleep rough.

College Principal, Simon Jarvis, speaking to the students, said: “What motivates our students is the knowledge that with only a little bad luck or a poor decision, the youngsters who sleep on the streets could so easily be you.”

After bedding down on cardboard with only warm clothes and sleeping bags for warmth the students managed to get a few hours of sleep – or at least some of them did! Andy Linton, the College’s Lead Tutor for Student Liaison, was impressed with all who participated in the sleep out: “They were so engaged with the presentation from Step By Step at the beginning of the evening and you could tell from their questions that they really care about this issue.”
 

Sleep out group

Sleep out group

Prepared for a cold night!

Prepared for a cold night!

Snug and warm in sleeping bags

Snug and warm in sleeping bags