Notre Dame staff and students braved the cold on November 4 and slept outside on the college site to raise money for homeless charities.
14 students and three staff took part in the sleep out, arriving at college at 7:45 pm, leaving again at 6 the following morning.
The evening began with a talk from Lydia, a representative from Depaul UK, a charity that focuses on meeting the needs of young people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. Lydia talked to our students about the work of the charity and provided an insight into different types of homelessness and why it happens. She spoke about case studies of young people who are homeless.
Our students took part in group discussions around the subject of homelessness. Lydia provided a number of statistics including the fact that the average life expectancy for a homeless woman is 43 and 46 for a man. Our students were concerned about homeless women and safety.
Our staff and students prepared for their sleep out by putting on extra layers and choosing a piece of cardboard to sleep on – this was their mattress for the night. The evening was cold but dry, with plenty of fireworks going off nearby. Everyone completed the challenge and made it through to the morning.
Jasmine, a lower sixth student, said, ‘The sleep-out was very eye opening and I would recommend it to anyone because it gives you an idea of what it’s like for homeless people. The hardest bit was getting to sleep’.
Notre Dame’s lay chaplain Andrew Sullivan, added, ‘It was certainly a worthwhile challenge. Thanks to all who participated.’