Members of Rugby’s Salvation Army Church braved the elements in a ‘Sleep Out’ to raise awareness of homelessness in the area and to raise vital funds.
On Friday August 21, around a dozen volunteers wrapped up in sleeping bags in The Salvation Army’s grounds while another five slept inside the church building on Bennfield Road, replicating the night shelter that is run in the winter months by Hope4 and Rugby churches for people experiencing homelessness in the town.
The intrepid Salvation Army volunteers have been sponsored for the challenge with money raised going towards the Church and charity’s annual appeal. The Big Collection raises vital funds for The Salvation Army’s programme of life-changing social and community services, including emergency shelters, Lifehouses (residential centres) and drop-in centres for people experiencing homelessness.
Divisional leader for the West Midlands, Major Peter Forrest, who took part in the challenge, said: “The Sleep Out was a real eye-opener. While one night on the streets cannot replicate the realities of someone experiencing homelessness, it did give me a deeper understanding of their immediate needs and fears.
“Homelessness is a major issue for our society and is a reality for many people right here in Rugby. It is important to remember that every person sleeping on the streets is someone’s son or daughter.”
Rugby Salvation Army Church leader, Major Graham House, added: “The dangers for people experiencing homelessness only increase during the winter months but The Salvation Army, along with other local churches, is dedicated to caring for people in need.
“Donations to our Big Collection ensure that The Salvation Army can continue offering compassionate support, a listening ear and practical help.”
The Salvation Army is an international Christian church and registered charity which has been transforming lives throughout the last 150 years. In addition to homelessness services, the Big Collection also funds other programmes run by The Salvation Army in the UK and Republic of Ireland. This includes care homes and day centres for older people, the Family Tracing Service, training and advice for people looking for sustained employment, and support for adult victims of modern slavery.
If you would like to donate to Rugby Salvation Army’s Sleep Out Challenge for the Big Collection. visit my.give.net/rugby_salvation_army