The Big Sleep is an annual event organised by Cumbria Community Foundation to raise money for their Winter Warmth Appeal, which supports older people in Cumbria who struggle to pay their heating and fuel bills in the colder months.
With temperatures around 2 degrees and dropping to nearly zero in the night campers enjoyed the friendly atmosphere while Little Sleepers were kept entertained by storyteller Ian Douglas and a family movie. Volunteers from Calderwood House, a homeless hostel in Egremont, kept everyone warm with their speciality coffee, and English Lakes Hotels provided the evening meal and breakfast rolls in the morning.
Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of the charity, said: “We’ve had another fantastic year at the Big Sleep and a huge thank you to everyone who took part or who supported them. Since we launched the event six years ago, it has raised more than £100,000 and this money makes a huge difference enabling us to continue our work, helping older people within our community.
“Extra funding is always great, but awareness is even better, and we want people to understand what fuel poverty is and how it affects people. The money raised will be used to provide grants to some of the poorest, most vulnerable older people in the county. Thank you to everyone who took part or supported the participants.”
Nicol Moffat and Rosie Edge from Maryport and Cockermouth, Home Group. Nicol said: “We work for Home Group, a local housing association, and we have had a lot of customers who are in fuel poverty and thought it would be a great idea to raise awareness.”
Kendal Event Medics provided first aid cover in-kind as they “wanted to support a great cause.”
Workington Fire Cadets, Keegan Milligan and Liam Sharples from Workington. They said: “We are raising money for people who are struggling to heat their homes in the winter, this is a great cause and we hope to raise £100 each, it will be great fun but very, very cold.”
Beth Nicholls from PPM Ltd. Beth said: “I work for PPM Ltd, in housing and property maintenance and we come across people living in fuel poverty – having to choose between “eat or heat”. This is a great opportunity to fundraise with our partners at Home Group. The cold weather really drives home the reality of how cold conditions can affect people in the winter months.”
Councillor Brian Hewitt, Vice Chairman of Lakes Parish Council, Ambleside said: “It’s my first time doing the Big Sleep for the Winter Warmth Appeal. Our county is very generous with food banks so this is a wonderful and different way to support Cumbrian people and help them to keep warm in the winter months. I personally would rather be hungry than cold, I hope to raise awareness and extra funds for this great cause.”
Simon Berry, High Sheriff of Cumbria. Simon, who is Chairman and Managing Director of English Lakes Hotels Resorts and Venues said: “I’m sleeping out for one night to raise money for people who can be cold every night, it just has to be done. It’s a privilege to be here and to support a great cause.”
Paul Lewis, Chief Finance Officer of Lakeland Limited. Paul said: “The Big sleep is a really good event to raise money for the Winter Warmth Appeal that supports local people. Cumbria Community Foundation is a great concept, it’s fantastic and I want to help support local people having just moved to the area.”
You can still donate towards the Winter Warmth Appeal.
Visit http://www.cumbriafoundation.org/winter-warmth-fund/give-to-the-winter-warmth-fund or phone 01900 825760.
Or you can send a cheque to: ‘Cumbria Community Foundation’ and write ‘Winter Warmth’ on the back. Send it to: Cumbria Community Foundation, Dovenby Hall, Dovenby, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 0PN
If you or someone you know is in need of support from the Winter Warmth Appeal, please contact your local Age UK.