Care Home Colleagues Sleep Rough to Help Homeless Charity

A pair of community-minded colleagues slept out in the garden of the Chichester care home where they work to raise funds to help homeless people.

Flo Dudley-Barritt and Heather Pearce, Companionship Team members at Colten Care’s Wellington Grange, braved the overnight cold in support of the home’s nominated charity of the year, Stonepillow.

Together, the pair spent two hours building a makeshift shelter out of pieces of cardboard they gathered from family, friends and fellow staff.

Residents at the home watched from the warmth indoors as the construction came together and Flo and Heather did their best to bed down for the night.

Flo said:
“Each year Stonepillow host a night in the grounds of Chichester Cathedral where you sleep rough in a cardboard box. It’s such a great way to raise money and we wanted to see how hard it would be for ourselves.

“We then thought it would be great if the residents at Wellington Grange could watch us build a shelter actually in the home’s garden so they could see the result with their own eyes, cheer us on as we got ready for the cold night ahead and make sure we didn’t sneak in for any home comforts!”

Flo and Heather built the corners, walls and roof in stages with lots of layers of cardboard to sleep on inside. They also fashioned a door and put up a string of fairy lights to make it a little more homely.

Flo added:
“Once we had built our home for the night, one or two residents came for a moment to take it all in for themselves.

“We also had cheers from residents’ windows, lots of waves and people looking out from the dining room as they were eating their supper.

“Luckily there was no rain. We were quite sheltered in the garden and the only thing we really felt was the cold air.

“It was a rough night’s sleep, on the hard ground with only blankets and sleeping bags to keep us warm.
“We also had a curious fox stop by briefly, nosy as to what was inside.”

Heather said:
“We woke up several times in the night. One of the first things that came to mind is how we couldn’t wait to get back into our own beds with the warmth and comfort around us and to be with our own things.

“The ground was hard and cold and the gaps in the cardboard made a cold draft come through.

“Had it been colder, raining or snowing we can only imagine how much tougher it would have been.

“It made us realise that we are so fortunate for everything we have, and how lucky we are to have fresh clean clothes and a roof over our heads.”

The sleepout was the second initiative Wellington Grange has staged in aid of Stonepillow in recent weeks.

The first was a dog show dubbed ‘Welly G’s Woofs and Wags’ open to pets owned by residents’ families and friends and Wellington Grange team members.

Eleven pooches from a range of breeds competed in seven classes, with different residents nominated as judges each time.

Rosettes handmade by residents were presented to the winners along with certificates.

“It was lovely,” said resident Lorna Cook. “I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and when it came to my turn to pick a winner it was so difficult to choose a favourite dog because they were all so good.”

Together, the sleepout and the dog show raised nearly £600 for Stonepillow.

 

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