THE Mansfield Big Snore sponsored sleep-out which was scheduled for Friday (25th January) has been postponed because of the ongoing freezing conditions.
With no let-up in the cold weather, organisers have taken the difficult decision to delay the popular annual event in order maximise its impact and protect participants.
It will now take place on the evening of Friday 1st March at St Mark’s Church.
Organisers, who planned to raise more than £20,000 for homelessness charity Framework, are now taking steps to inform all participants and are confident of a strong turn-out on the rearranged date.
Framework fundraising manger Louise Darby said: “We know from many years’ experience that such extreme weather conditions always bring with them a significant increase in participant cancellations – resulting in a substantial drop in much-needed income.
“The money raised by this event will help us to resettle former rough sleepers throughout 2013 and it is vital that we are able to raise the greatest possible amount.”
All registered participants will automatically be allocated a space at the rearranged event, which will take place at the same location and between the same times.
Peter Radage, Framework service director for homelessness and housing, added: “When the weather is this cold, Framework, in partnership with local authorities and others, operates a series of emergency winter shelters to try and make sure nobody is exposed to such life-threatening conditions.
“I know that many of our supporters would have turned out regardless of the conditions but it is simply not fair for us to expect others – including children and older people – to follow suit during unpredictable and hazardous weather conditions. We know only too well the risks that presents.”
Pam Bishop, of St Mark’s Church, added: “This is the ninth annual event here and it is with regret that, for the first time, we have had to take a decision to postpone the Mansfield Big Snore.
“However, we look forward to offering all participants a very warm welcome to St Marks on 1st March.”
Last year’s event, which raised almost £18,000, allowed Framework to launch a specialist “move-on” service at its accommodation complex in Sherwood Street, Mansfield, focusing solely on supporting former rough sleepers into stable and long-term accommodation. As a result, the number of people moving on – and thus the numbers able to move in – has nearly trebled.
This year’s event, sponsored for the first time by Western Power Distribution, will help the charity to continue that life-changing work throughout 2013 and beyond.
For more information please see www.frameworkha.org/BigSnore.