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Alabaré and the London BIG Sleep

Alabaré a charity supporting vulnerable, homeless and marginalised people, invites you to stand against homelessness by bedding down for one night at the Old Royal Naval College, in a single act of compassion to help save lives. 

This is a once-in-a-lifetime, never been done before event that will change the lives of homeless and vulnerable veterans needing care.

What’s it all about?

The Big Sleep is the charity’s flagship event – they invite participants to give up their warm beds for one night, sleep rough in some amazing locations while raising much needed funds.  The charity knows this isn’t real homelessness but gives participants a feel for one night only of what it can feel like to sleep on the streets. Alabaré have been putting on these events for over 15 years, first hosting them in the Cloisters of Salisbury Cathedral but have since held them at iconic venues around the UK such as The Tower of London, Stonehenge, HM Prison Gloucester and Gwrych Castle, home to ITV’s I’m a Celebrity in North Wales. Depending on the size of the venue, between 200 and 500 participants sleeping out under the stars.

The charity is now launching its newest BIG Sleep at the historic Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich, taking place on Friday 24th March, where participants will be bedding down amid the King William and Queen Mary colonnades.  Alabaré’s BIG Sleep events are not for the faint hearted, but the money raised by taking part will literally save lives.  

“Fortunately for us, we were dry, safe within the walls of the Tower and were well looked after. However, I am very conscious that those who have no option but to sleep rough face the consequential dangers and hazards that we did not, suffering as a result. Because of this I am really pleased that I was able to help Alabaré in trying to help those that are homeless.”

– BIG Sleep at The Tower of London Participant

Many worthy charities are pleading for support but Alabaré hopes, as it is the largest provider of homes for homeless veterans outside of London, their cause will resonate with our readers.

Most veterans transition successfully from military life to civilian life but not all. Each veteran embarks on a different journey, those who fall through the cracks can land the heaviest.

Alabaré’s Homes for Veterans was established in 2009 with it’s first home in Plymouth, it now runs 18 other homes located in north and south Wales, Gloucester, Bristol, Weymouth, Salisbury and Gosport – the charity welcomes ex-Armed Forces personnel from across the country.

It costs between £60,000 and £80,000 per year to run one veteran home. On average they are 4-bed properties each with a manager and at least one housing support manager. The Charity works hard to provide a safe, warm and comfortable environment to give support and signpost individuals to stable housing, medical assistance, education, training and employment opportunities. The overall aim is to see those in their care integrate back into the local community and contribute once again positively to society.

Moving into the next 30 years, they are looking to build their sustainability along with a programme of holistic care and support to those in need. Part of this is the development of self-build housing solutions and the design and operation of social enterprises which will provide a source of employment to those wishing to expand their skills and experience.

The money raised from The BIG Sleep on 24th March will help more veterans like Adam. Adam went to Alabaré following the lockdown in 2020 having struggled with alcohol and drug addictions for several years following an overnight and immediate medical discharge after 15 years in the Royal Navy.  After loosing a couple of close relatives, Adam joined Alabaré while suffering from extreme social anxiety. Since being housed and supported by the Alabaré team he has moved into his own independent flat and is rebuilding his life.  Adam is especially keen to ensure others do not up in the same situation as he did.

“Somebody cared. Somebody was there to listen, yeah someone cared when I thought no one would or should.”

How can you get involved?

To take part in a BIG Sleep event please go to Alabaré’s website

www.alabare.co.uk/campaign/big-sleep-events

If you would like to support the fundraising effort or the charity in any other way please contact them on 01722 322882 or email fundraising@alabare.co.uk

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