PCC Marc Jones agrees to sleep rough for event to raise money for the homeless
AN event raising money and awareness to help the homeless is being backed by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner – and he has agreed to sleep rough for the night to show his support.
PCC Marc Joes has signed up to the YMCA’s Sleep Easy event when sponsored sleepers spend the night battling the elements in the grounds of Lincoln Cathedral.
It is the tenth year the YMCA in Lincolnshire has hosted the event. Last year more than 60 people took part and the charity hopes to double the numbers this year as it strives to raise £30,000 for the Lincoln Nomad Centre.
“Sleeping rough for one night doesn’t begin to replicate the horrific conditions and hardship faced by those who are genuinely homeless,” said Mr Jones.
“But an event like this is vital for raising much needed funds and for raising the profile of an issue that our society needs to face and deal with.
“I am delighted to be able to take part, help raise money and reacquaint myself, albeit briefly, of how difficult it can be to live without the security, warmth and shelter of a roof over your head.”
“After a decade of supporting the Nomad Trust and other local charities assisting the homeless locally, I’m under no illusion that this event won’t solve these complex issues but it will get our community a step closer to providing even better local facilities to help keep the vulnerable safe.”
Last winter Mr Jones put together and led a team of volunteers to keep a night shelter in Boston open when it faced closure during sub-zero temperatures.
When Mr Jones heard the homeless shelter may not be able to open on one of the coldest nights of the year he put out a call for help and friends and colleagues rallied to help. The volunteers opened the doors to 26 homeless people.
The PCC also pulled a range of agencies together to support the City of Lincoln Council in creating a new team in the city to help rough sleepers find accommodation, address addiction and mental health issues; this ncluded funding an outreach worker from proceeds of crime.
Caroline Killeavy, CEO of YMCA Lincolnshire said: “We are delighted to have the Police Crime Commissioner on board and are grateful for both his support and advocacy. It’s our 150th birthday this year and our tenth Sleep Easy too, so we wanted to make this year’s sleep out a stand out event.
“Marc is joining a cohort of brave participants who have signed up to spend the night replicating what it might be like to sleep rough. It’s an experience that shouldn’t be taken lightly, but we’re only doing it once – there are those much less fortunate than us who have no choice but to sleep on the streets night after night.”
So far more than 50 people have signed up for next year’s event which takes place at Lincoln Cathedral from 7pm on Friday 15th March 2019 until 7am the next day.
An early bird ticket price of £10 is currently available until January 2019. To sign up, donate, or find out more visit: www.lincsymca.co.uk/get-involved/fundraising/.
To visit Mr Jones Just Giving page go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mjsleepeasy19