Building support for Sleep Out

120 children from five schools came together for a day of learning, fun and shelter building in support of the Trinity Winchester Big Sleep Out, which aims to raise funds and awareness to reduce homelessness.

Following a successful pilot with one school last year, Osborne Communities, who deliver a comprehensive repairs and voids service to the City Council’s 6,000 social housing properties, teamed up with the Big Sleep Out organisers Trinity to deliver a schools ‘Big Build’ event, hosted by St Swithuns.

After an introduction from Big Sleep Out organiser Lucy and some building tips from Osborne Community Investment Manager Neal, students spent the day designing, building and decorating team structures created from recycled cardboard and duct tape.

As part of a busy day, every pupil also got to visit RS Live, an engaging educational resource which aims to inspire and prevent a future skills gap in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects.

After lunch, special guest judge The Mayor of Winchester dropped in to award prizes for the Most Creative (St Swithuns), the Best Engineered (Nightingale Primary) and Special Mention (Winnall Primary).

The following evening, some students returned with their parents to use their creations as part of the Sleep Out event in the grounds of Wolvesey, whilst other school built structures were ‘rented out’, raising more funds for the charity.

Osborne Community Investment Manager Neal Allison, said: “This is the fifth year Osborne has supported the Big Sleep Out and the addition of the Big Build for Schools has proved really popular and a great way to engage and raise awareness with young people in a fun way, encouraging more families to take part.

“Their designs really stood out and it was great to see some of them return with their parents for the main event.
“Events like this really bring Communities together for a good cause and I’d like to thank Jewson’s for their support in providing materials.”

Lucy Tennant, Events and Community Fundraiser at Trinity, said: “The first Schools Big Shelter build was a huge success for Trinity.

“As well as bringing local schools together, it was wonderful to see children engaging in the issues of homelessness and the thought that went into how to protect somebody who is sleeping rough.

“We’d like to thank St Swithun’s for hosting the event, and Nightingale, Winnall, St Bede’s and Oliver’s Battery Primary Schools for supporting the event.

“The shelters were all used at the Big Sleep Out to keep our participants warm and dry, which helped to raise more funds for our work with homeless and other vulnerable people.”