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As the annual Big Sleepout approaches, SARAH SINGLETON speaks to the youngest and the oldest participants about why they want to raise awareness of homelessness FINDLAY Batten, aged six, and Sister Mary Mulkeen, 80, will be the youngest and oldest volunteers to sleep outside on a long, dark night in Swindon to raise money for the town’s homeless.
The Big Sleepout happens on the night of Friday, December 1, at the Immanuel United Reformed Church, in Upham Road.
“I do it year after year, in the same place,” she said.
Our Holy Father, the Pope, has spoken out about the poor, and November 19 is dedicated to the poor.The annual event raises thousands of pounds to support rough sleepers and the vulnerably housed.It gives volunteers a chance to experience what it is like to sleep rough – but with the safety and security of friends, and without the extreme exposure and vulnerability.“They are quite positive about it.” Anyone over the age of 16 is welcome to participate – though the under-16s can join in if accompanied by an adult.Threshold is a local, independent charity which provides emergency short, medium and long-term accommodation to single homeless people in Swindon.
“People come with their own sleeping bags and wear appropriate clothing,” said fundraising co-ordinator Cai Larkins.