On Friday 6th February, 14 people slept outside St Mary’s Church, Watford, to raise money and awareness for YMCA West and Central Herts and us!
Participants raised a record amount for this event – over £4,000 so far! This funding is particularly needed at the moment, as there are currently 34 people sleeping rough in Watford, alone, and both of Watford’s emergency accommodation services – our Sanctuary Night Shelter and Transition Service – are full.
Matthew Heasman, our CEO, was one of the people sleeping out. He said, ‘It was a very humbling experience and reminded me of why we do what we do. Especially as we could see both the Sanctuary and the YMCA from where we were sleeping – or trying to. It’s one thing to spend one night outside out of choice, but for 34 people in Watford at the moment, sleeping outside is a daily reality. We’re hugely grateful to everyone who’s supporting us to help us change this.’
Our Outreach Lead, Joe Wilcox, spoke to participants about the realities of homelessness in Watford and his role in helping people who are rough sleeping.
Other participants included Cllr Seamus Williams, CI Dave Wheatley and members of staff from St Luke’s Church, Watford. The CEO of YMCA West and Central Herts, Guy Foxell, Chairman of the Three Rivers District Council, Chris Lloyd, and vicar of St Mary’s Church, Watford, Revd Tony Rindl, also stopped by to wish everyone well.
All of us at New Hope would like to say a huge thank you to those 15 people who gave up their bed for the night, and for everyone who sponsored them as well. You guys are superstars!