Bolton Wanderers Sleep Out
Friday 10th March 2023 saw a sight never seen before. Bolton Wanderers held their first ever Sleepout event raising money for ourselves and their charity arm Bolton Wanderers in the Community.
Over 90 people signed up to sleep out in the freezing conditions to not just raise money but to also raise awareness about issues surrounding homelessness. Businesses, the local authority, our own staff and even the Bolton Wanderers FC CEO were all represented braving the minus 5 temperature.
Initially people were in good spirits with groups chatting and talking to others to find out where they had come from and why they were taking part. As time went on and people settled into their sleeping bags the temperature dropped significantly and not a huge amount of sleep was had by many. The stadium echoed every little bang or noise making you wonder who or what it was.
Speaking on the night, Phil Mason (CEO Bolton Wanderers in the Community) said, “Whilst the night was a true challenge, it provided us with a glimpse of what the reality of homelessness is. I found it a very powerful event.”
Laura Bagley from Urban Outreach said, “Around 4am I had two 30 min naps and it was so cold. I checked my phone to see that we had hit minus 5. All I kept thinking was I knew there was a warm safe space if I needed it, but I didn’t want to move an inch and let the cold hit me in any way. It was a humbling night to think we had chosen this and that we were going back to warm homes where we know the noises our house makes. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to do this night after night in fear of what might happen if you fell asleep. It has certainly renewed my perspective on the work we do at Urban Outreach and I am so grateful for all who sponsored us so we can continue that work.”
Dave Bagley, Urban Outreach CEO, said: “Is this the kind of sacrifice required to spend just one night in someone else’s shoes to be able to feel their pain? Absolutely not and yet one night trying to sleep on the terraces at Bolton Wanderers left me thanking God it was just one night but for so many it is every night. This was indeed a night to disturb the comfortable and reignite the passion to comfort the disturbed. Thank you to all who donated and sent messages of encouragement and most of all to the staff at Bolton Wanderers in the Community. Let this one night shake us to a renewed vision that no one sleeps without a roof and we look to make homes available to all who need them.”
We would like to share our thanks with you all for your support, donations, encouragement in the work we do. The Just Giving page is still open until 31st March and you can donate here Urban Outreach Team is fundraising for Bolton Wanderers in the Community (justgiving.com)