We did it!
Our annual Big Sleep Out took place on Friday 10th June 2022. By challenging participants to spend a night sleeping outside, the Big Sleep Out aims to raise awareness and funds for Arc and support those experiencing homelessness locally. After 2 years of being virtual only, we were excited to host our first ever hybrid event where participants could join us in-person in our office car park or virtually from home.
Those sleeping in our car park were given a piece of cardboard to offer a bit of comfort, kindly donated by RH Fibreboard. There was some delicious dinner available, thanks to Loafers and COOK, as well as some tasty cakes made by the Lindley House kitchen team and hot drinks provided by Crescent Funeral Services. We also had PR Photography volunteering to take professional photos of the event.
We were joined by some very talented local musicians who performed for participants for free - trumpet player Luis Martelo, followed by 13-year old Ben from The Young, local singer/songwriter Sam Cockram, and duo A&R to end the evening of fantastic entertainment! The performances were also offered as a livestream to those taking part virtually.
Around 10.30PM, it was time to settle down and try and get some sleep – ‘try’ being the key word here! Thanks to the busy central Taunton location, and some very noisy seagulls, it definitely was not the most peaceful night! Despite having a security guard, it was an eerie experience being completely exposed and vulnerable whilst trying to sleep, something that is sadly a reality for those who are rough sleeping or sleeping somewhere unsafe. Our virtual ‘sleepers’ all had an eye-opening experience too, saying how much they appreciated going back inside to the safety of their homes the following morning.
As often happens at our Big Sleep Outs, most of us were awake by 5AM, but we were greeted by glorious sunshine and we were not alone! The fantastic Rapid Relief Team were busy setting up to provide our in-person ‘sleepers’ with a wonderful breakfast. We were delighted to also be joined by Mythic Drones who filmed and photographed the morning events. By 6.30AM, we were all fed and ready to pack up.
Despite having fewer participants than previous years, fundraising efforts were incredible! Our total funds raised is just over £5,000 which will make a profound difference to the lives of our clients. Thank you to everyone who took on the challenge and spent a night under the stars!
Thank you so much to everyone also who contributed towards the Big Sleep Out! We could not have hosted such a successful event without the kindness of people who gave up their time to help – we could not have done it without you!
We are already looking forward to Arc’s Big Sleep Out 2023!
To see all the photos from 2022, please click here.