It's 2.44 in the morning and for a variety of reasons this is the hardest sleepout of the 5 I’ve done.
Feels claustrophobic in my box; I’m aware of my cold and the snuffling noises it creates (sorry for those around me); first time I’ve had to wear hat and gloves ‘cos the temperature is down.
And I choose to do this for one night a year, what about all those who have no choice and sleep out every night ?
I choose to bring hats, gloves, thick coat, have a box and a pillow, what about those who can’t ?
I sleep safely in the company of like minded souls, what about those fearful of muggers, hooligans or worse ?
I choose to help …………….
Why ? John Wesley spoke of a social gospel, which sought to alleviate need. Coming from an age of philanthropists where it was considered normal for the wealthy to create social conditions which benefitted others, the Cadburys in their creation of Bournville, Barnado, Angela Burdett-Coutts, Florence Nightingale and many others, there is a rich heritage of helping.
Thankfully we have our philanthropists of today, Bill Gates and his drive to eradicate polio, Bono setting up a foundation to help 3rd world people, Elton John supporting AIDS charities, David Beckham offering a years wages to the charities of Paris and many more.
I can't offer such wealth, few of us can, but like Wesley we can seek to do 'all we can' (also the current name of the Methodist Church relief charity), and tonight I'm doing what I can.
The YMCA literally changes lives: so far tonight we've raised over £27,000 and experience shows more will yet come in, which will help to get people out of cardboard boxes, off the streets, away from danger and into safe, secure housing.
I choose to help