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SPONSORED SLEEPOUT: Dacorum residents brave zero-degree temperatures for charity event (VIDEO)

 Published on: 27th November 2023   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

The sixth edition of the DENS Sponsored Sleepout took place on Friday, November 24, and saw more than 100 people spending the night outside to raise money for the Dacorum homelessness charity.

Scout troops, church groups, old friends, and even our own MyLocalNews reporter Bryn, as well as many others, bunkered down in the gravel courtyard at John F Kennedy Catholic School in Hemel Hempstead.

The event aims not only to give participants some idea of what it’s like to sleep rough, but also to raise money for the vital work DENS does in helping people get off the streets and into better living situations.

We spoke to Samuel, who has said he would like to take part in the event every year after DENS supported him in 2020.

He said: “I found myself with DENS through no fault of my own. I was made redundant, and I unfortunately had to move from a houseshare, rented accommodation, moved back in with parents, and I found myself on the verge of becoming homeless.

“I just thought to try DENS, to attempt to start my life again. I’m glad I did, because I’ve changed my life around dramatically. I now live independently, and I’ve got my own ground-floor flat, and my small black cat as well.”

To help the participants endure a night of zero-degree weather and hard floors, they were also treated to a special fire show and were given a warm breakfast the following morning.

DENS events organiser Nicky Maxwell-Braithwaite said: “These events are the bread and butter of fundraising for us. Our flagship events run throughout the year, and they are so important in making sure all of our vital services keep running.

“This year has been tough. It’s been a really tough time for us in fundraising, and at our foodbank we’re seeing a decline in food and financial donations, as our demand for our services is rising. We’ve seen a 57 per cent increase in use compared to last year, so that’s why these kind of events are so important to us.”

To find out more about DENS and to donate, visit their website.

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