Shirebrook students raise more than £1,500 in charity sleep out

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Around 60 pupils and staff at Shirebrook Academy spent the night sleeping rough to learn what it was like to be homeless.

The event, which took place at Shirebrook Academy last Friday night, saw the students and teachers spread out their cardboard beds on the grass and concrete outside the school building, on Common Lane, to experience a night of sleeping rough.

The sponsored event raised more than £1,500 for homeless charities Shelter and the Lighthouse Project.

It was organised following a school trip to London, where two pupils, Abbie Topham and Sophie Ingham, both aged 12, noticed how many people were sleeping rough in the capital and decided they wanted to raise awareness of the issue.

They persuaded their friends and staff at the school to join them in the sponsored sleep-out.

Julie Bloor, principal, also took part in the event which she said gave everyone a small glimpse into the plight of the country’s homeless.

She said: “Friday had been a warm day and we were safe in the school grounds, of course, but it did get surprisingly cold in the early hours of the night and many of the pupils did feel uncomfortable at being outside, so they moved into the sports hall.

“It is a long way from the reality, but when the excitement died down, it wasn’t hard to imagine what it must be like to have to sleep rough for real.

“That in itself meant that it was a successful event, although we estimate that we have raised about £1,500 in total so far, with more money yet to come in.”

The pupils were even visited by Alan Charles, police and crime commissioner for Derbyshire, ahead of their sleep-out and were rewarded in the morning for their fortitude with bacon sandwiches donated by Julie’s Sandwich Shop in Bolsover.

There is still time to make a donation to Shelter by sponsoring the Academy’s staff by visiting