Over 200 brave fundraisers took part in Bethany Christian Trust’s nationwide Big Sleep Out events in Glasgow and Edinburgh to raise support for homeless people in Scotland.

Despite the wintry weather, sleepers of all ages camped out at the City Chambers in both Glasgow and Edinburgh (on 8 March) in support of national homeless charity, Bethany Christian Trust.

While wildfire Explorers built shelters in Edinburgh, two Hockey teams from Strathclyde University braved the rain in Glasgow. The St Aloysius College Sleep Out alone (on 16 March) raised over £7K towards Bethany’s work and featured special guest Sanjeev Kohli from fan-favourite Still Game. Over 80 sleepers from Girlguiding Edinburgh attended Fettes College (on 23 March) and took part in a scavenger hunt around the historic campus and joined in campfire songs before bed. In the morning, sleepers across all Bethany Sleep Out events were greeted by Rapid Relief teams for hot drinks and a breakfast roll.

The money and awareness raised from the Bethany Big Sleep Out will go towards Bethany’s emergency night shelter and other winter work with the homeless in Scotland. Started in Edinburgh in 1996 with a 2-week pilot over Christmas, Bethany’s Care Shelter has grown to 32 weeks in response to need and now is a lifeline for hundreds of homeless people who would otherwise be forced to sleep outside during the cold winter months.

Reflecting on her Sleep Out experience, Shona Howard, Community Resettlement Worker at Bethany Christian Trust, said: “I was apprehensive before going to the Bethany sleep out. I like my creature comforts and I didn’t think it was going to be an enjoyable experience. But the tea and biscuits helped, and we all got on so well building our forts for the night; we were all in the same boat and it demonstrated how difficult it must be for people without a home to sleep every night.”

Events and Churches Team Lead, Mairead said: “The Big Sleep Out was a great success this year. We came together and raised an incredible amount of money that will help Bethany in our efforts to provide support for people experiencing homelessness in Scotland. We cannot thank our supporters and sleepers enough for their generosity!”

Established in 1983, Bethany Christian Trust supports over 7,000 people across Scotland. The charity’s services focus on Homelessness Prevention, Crisis Intervention and Housing with Support, alleviating the suffering and meeting the long term needs of people who are homeless in Scotland.