This year has been easy on no one, and it has been relentless in its hardships, both on people, business and organisations like ours. Still, we must adapt, and so instead of our annual Sleep Out event – in which we invite people to join us in sleeping outside in safe locations throughout the country – we started something new: STAY:UP.
The aim of STAY:UP is simple: Tackle your tiredness, banish bedtime and whatever you do, don’t fall asleep! In those 12 hours you’re fighting fatigue, however you choose to do it, that’s ok with us. You want to have that movie marathon you’ve been dreaming of for years? Pass the popcorn. You’re having an all-night dance party with your family? Put that Spotify on shuffle!
We were overwhelmed with the level of creativity from those involved this year. With such a new challenge on their hands, our fundraisers threw themselves into getting experimental with their ideas: there was 12-hour bike rides, bake-offs, pyjama parties, karate sessions and even a Zwift marathon.
And of course, it doesn’t end there. If you weren’t able to take part in STAY:UP this year, don’t panic – you can still get involved with our charity auction. From VIP tickets to The Vamps’ 2021 tour to a West Ham t-shirt signed by the entire squad, we’ve got plenty of goodies to bid on, so get clicking!
On The Night
When it comes to our on-the-night highlights, where do we begin? You’d think 12 hours was a long time to stay busy, but we managed to keep every hour jam-packed with great content to keep morales boosted and tired peepers entertained.
I think we can all agree that every man, woman and child were fan-girling out to a live performance The Vamps, as well as their great Q&A. We had an ‘In Conversation’ segment between ex Centrepoint resident Brookemorgan and ex GB athlete, Jade Johnson – and of course, you can rewatch the conversation, which is definitely worth a view. There were special messages from staff and celebs alike, and we had a cook-along with Ching He Huang – because really, what’s an all-nighter without midnight snacks?
As always, we are so grateful to you, our supporters. Whether it’s sleeping outside or coming up with a crazy idea to keep conscious, you always bring 110% to our annual fundraisers.
With Sleep Out, our intention isn’t to replicate rough sleeping, but rather to give people an idea of the situation a lot of young people find themselves in. The same goes for STAY:UP – many vulnerable young people who find themselves without a roof over their head will stay awake all night, too scared of what could happen if they fall asleep. They often wander the streets until morning, where they then head straight to school or college.
The STAY:UP challenge raises awareness about how hard it is for young people to function without somewhere safe to sleep. As one member of The Co-Operative (one of our long-serving sponsors) puts it: "I have to say it was one of the harder things I have done recently – my eyes were drooping around 4am, but I then got a second wind and stayed up all day Friday as well.”
But of course, our supporters brought the energy and the creativity – and in the process, helped us to raise a massive £296,021 so far! Plus, you can still donate to the cause at our donation page.
So, same time next year? We'll bring the coffee....