Colleagues from the libraries and localities teams at Wokingham Borough Council are getting their sleeping bags and blankets ready for a night under the stars to raise money for a local homeless charity.
The Big Sleep Out event takes place during the night of Saturday 9 October in Woodley Library’s courtyard garden. The refurbishment at Woodley Library is currently taking shape and the scaffolded building remains open to residents whilst the air source pump and photovoltaics are installed. Once completed, Woodley Library will become the first carbon neutral library within the borough.
The Big Sleep Out coincides with World Homeless Day (9 October), an event to raise awareness of homelessness and to provide opportunities for the community to get involved, and Libraries Week (4 to 10 October), an annual showcase and celebration of the best that libraries have to offer and the central role libraries play in their community as a driver for inclusion, sustainability, social mobility and community cohesion.
Executive member for neighbourhood and communities Cllr Bill Soane said: “Homelessness can affect anyone and sadly, is a way of life for many individuals. It has particularly been heightened during the Covid-19 pandemic with many individuals struggling to find work and safe accommodation.
“I am delighted to announce that Wokingham Borough Council colleagues are taking part in World Homeless Day to raise awareness of homelessness during The Big Sleep Out event. Our team is taking on the challenge of swapping home luxuries and a comfortable bed for a sleeping bag outside in the Woodley Library courtyard which is open to the elements. They’ll be braving the weather to gain an insight into homelessness at night, experiencing cold, autumnal temperatures, uncomfortable sleeping arrangements and limited sleep.
“By participating in this event, our colleagues can raise money, awareness and experience a small insight into rough sleeping. On behalf of Wokingham Borough Council, I would like to praise Launchpad for their dedication and continual hard work supporting homeless individuals.”
Launchpad is Reading’s leading homelessness prevention charity and provides vital information and support for individuals, couples and families who do not have a stable place to live or are at risk of losing their home. Launchpad’s holistic service works in three ways, to prevent homelessness, provide homes and rebuild lives. Over the past year, the charity has helped over 1,000 people get back on their feet last year, a figure which more than tripled in just five years.
Residents can take part in The Big Sleep Out challenge by camping in their garden alone, with family, friends or pets on Saturday 9 October. More details on the event and how to raise money for the charity can be found on the Launchpad website and Woodley Library’s Just Giving Page.
If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless within 56 days, please make a referral via the Housing Jigsaw website. Select the option 'Are you homeless or at risk of being made homeless'.
Once the referral has been received, the duty homelessness prevention officer will contact you. Wokingham Borough Council can only accept referrals which are made through Housing Jigsaw.
If you are unable to make a referral, contact us as soon as possible by:
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