Volunteers sleep rough in Eastbourne to raise awareness of homelessness

Amy and Naomi from Matthew 25 Mission (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170803-112357008

Amy and Naomi from Matthew 25 Mission (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170803-112357008

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Volunteers will be sleeping rough this weekend to highlight the plight of homeless people in the town – particularly now the night shelter has closed.

Amy Evensen and Naomi Tregear, of the Matthew 25 Mission, will be sleeping on the streets on Friday and Saturday night (March 10-11).

Matthew 25 administrator Graham Horsnell said, “They wanted to try to understand what it’s like sleeping rough. Even though it’s not much of a feel because they have got hope at the end of it.

“But ar least they will find out what it’s like. They’ll be outside Poundland all day on Saturday, and will be joined by Claire Blacklaws, another volunteer, then too.

“People coming across them will think they are really sleeping rough.

“They might get some abuse as well as encouragement.”

For their safety, police are aware of the situation.

It is estimated that around 35 people are currently sleeping rough in the town, and potentially more.

Graham continued, “The girls can experience some of the challenges faced by some of these people every day.

“They will have a bucket if people want to donate, but we’re just hoping to raise awareness of the whole issue.

“This is a problem in Eastbourne, as much as we wish it wasn’t.”

He encourages anyone who comes across a homeless person to let them know there are places they can get support.

The Matthew 25 Mission, based in Brodie Hall, Seaside, provides a weekday mornings drop-in centre with food and support services available free of charge to vulnerable people.

Donations of sleeping bags, thermal clothing and other items are always welcome, as well as anyone wishing to be a volunteer.

For more information, visit www.m25m.btck.co.uk/