30 October 2014 By Jo Phillips
Jim is used to being outside in all weathers while he tends our show site gardens and lawn but he took being outside to extremes recently when he joined The Big Sleep Out at Chichester Cathedral. The event raises funds and awareness for Stonepillow, a local charity that works with homeless and vulnerable people in Chichester and the surrounding area (www.stonepillow.org.uk).
Jim was one of about 100 hardy souls who took the opportunity to find out what it’s like to be homeless for a night while raising money for Stonepillow. The event took place in the grounds of Chichester Cathedral and saw participants sleeping under the stars with only cardboard shelters to protect them from the elements. Jim took his own large cardboard box (and a sleeping bag!) while others made elaborate cardboard box structures.
The “rough” sleepers were provided with hot drinks and there was a definite party feel to the event. Jim said he didn’t get much sleep as there were quite a lot of excited children taking part, revellers leaving the pubs and the cathedral clock chiming every hour! He felt the discomfort of sleeping out for one night only gave a tiny flavour of the hardships that the homeless have to bear; he knew he would be returning home in the morning to a good breakfast, plenty of hot water and a soft bed. Jim is still collecting sponsorship money for Stonepillow or you can donate directly here.