How did Tom get on?
Following Tom Pelc’s night of sleeping rough with his team from the City of Bristol College, he kindly sent us a blog story on the night.
“As we arrived to set up camp we were greeted at Pip 'n' Jay's Church by the end of a soup kitchen for local homeless people. This was pretty much a sign of how we meant to go on, with our first few seconds of the experience already really bringing the message home.
The atmosphere was good and whilst many a laugh was shared it was only once we hunkered down for the night that the smiles disappeared and the reality set in. Temperatures dropped as low as -1 and despite several layers of thermals, jumpers, ski wear, multiple hats and sleeping bags, the inability to feel secure or comfortable at any point meant a sleepless night was had by all. When you combine this with the Church being situated adjacent to an Ambulance depot on a Friday night in Bristol accompanied by a long alarm sounding every time an ambulance is deployed plus cardboard being a very uncomfortable mattress especially when sat below a tree raining us with bird muck, you get a pretty colourful picture of plentiful cold, extensive sleep deprivation and a profound and yet still lacking appreciation for what homeless people experience.
You might wonder why I would call this appreciation lacking? Well, we were lucky enough to have had ambulance services on site, company which was no threat, toilet facilities, new sleeping bags, the small luxury of fresh cardboard, layers and layers of clothing and even Pip 'n' Jays church's generous provision of soup and bread as well as the unexpected surprise of a bacon sandwich in the morning. Given all of this we still found it exceedingly difficult and ultimately draining. Sleeping rough is a trying experience, even for those who are prepared for it. For those who find it to be a way of life and a daily struggle such 'luxuries' simply do not exist and so our own experience can only ever hint at the struggle these people face on a daily basis”
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