DEPUTY Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold from Harlaston near Tamworth has recently spent the night in a cardboard box to help raise money for charity.
Mrs Arnold and her husband John took part in the Burton YMCA’s Sleep Out 2016 in order to help them raise vital funds. They spent the night sleeping out at Tamworth castle Grounds last Friday so that someone else won’t have to.
Through her fundraising efforts, Mrs Arnold has managed to raise over £1,000 so far for the YMCA. She is encouraging members of the public to sponsor her and support the work done by the YMCA to help the homeless in Staffordshire.
Mrs Arnold said: “It was a humbling experience to be able to take part in this year’s sleep out and get a taste of what those less fortunate who live on the streets must go through every night. What was most poignant to me was the sense of vulnerability that I may become a victim of assault at any time.
“I am incredibly grateful to everyone who sponsored me for this event and I am pleased that the money raised is going to such a worthwhile cause.”
In October 2016 a survey carried out by homelessness charity St Mungo’s found that of over 200 people sleeping rough in Westminster, London more than a third of respondents, rising to 44 per cent of female respondents, stated they had been attacked since they became homeless. Of the respondents 18 per cent said they had threatened or tried to harm themselves, or someone else, in the last year. In London an average of one homeless person has died every fortnight since 2010.
Paul Laffey Chief Executive of Burton YMCA said: “We are very grateful for the support of everyone who has registered, supported, volunteered, sponsored or shared our story, about this sleepout event.
“Every single person is helping us to make a difference, building positive futures for the people we support and helping with the vital support services that are accessed by 1000’s of people in need every year.
“As the weather turns colder homeless people are faced with the shocking reality of a life lived on the streets. Those participating slept out for one or two nights and were then able to return to their warm homes. For a homeless person sleeping out can mean weeks or even months on the streets. That’s the harsh reality of what the YMCA is witnessing on a daily basis.”
The Burton YMCA Sleep Out has now been running for eight years and this year over 50 people took part in the Tamworth Sleep Out event.
Anyone who wants to help support the Burton YMCA and sponsor the Deputy PCC should visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/suearnold