It is very nearly time for the 300-plus people who have signed up to take part in the Big PNE Sleep Out to get their sleeping bags ready to bed down for the night at Deepdale in aid of the Foxton Centre!
The Sleep Out is taking place from the evening of Friday 15th November until the morning of Saturday 16th November with the aim of raising £50,000 for the Foxton Centre.
The Foxton Centre are partner organisers of the event along with PNE Community and Education Trust, Biffa and Blog Preston and all monies raised will be used by the Foxton to buy and renovate a house for the use of rough sleepers in Preston under its Housing First initiative.
Those who have signed up for the Sleep Out will need to arrive for registration for the event between 7pm and 9pm. The point of entry into the stadium concourse will be at the corner of the Invincibles Pavilion and the Bill Shankly Kop; where Lowthorpe Road meets Bill Shankly Crescent.
You will need to sign in on arrival. Anyone turning up wishing to participate who has not already registered will be turned away.
Hot drinks will be available to purchase for a small fee upon arrival from one of the kiosks on the concourse. If you want to purchase a drink, please do this as soon as you arrive before settling down and placing your belongings on the ground.
Louis Moult will be present during the registration period and saying words of thanks, before departing at the end of the registration period. If you would like to be there to meet Louis and to hear what he has to say, please arrive early to avoid disappointment!
After registration has been completed and all participants have arrived, introductions will begin with speeches to be made by staff from all of the partner organisations, including PNE Community and Education Trust itself.
The briefing will take place after registration has finished to allow all taking part to be in attendance.
The Sleep Out
It will be ‘lights out’ in effect from 10pm as we allow people to settle down and rest. As much as possible, noise will be kept to a minimum during this time.
Staff will begin to help participants wake up from approximately 6.30am on the Saturday morning, with the aim of having all involved in the event having left the stadium by 7.30am.
Catering provider Heathcote&Co will have refreshments available for a small fee on the morning and all the money raised from this will be added to the Sleep Out appeal.
We have certificates available for those who wish to collect one and our photographer will be back on site to capture a final group photograph at approximately 7.15am before participants start to leave the stadium.
Parking can be found on the Kop car park, which is off Bill Shankly Crescent.
Refreshments will be available on arrival on the Friday night and again on the Saturday morning for a small fee which will be donated to the Sleep Out appeal. Otherwise, however, there will not be food or drink available and participants should bring their own food and drink should they wish.
Tap water will be available from the toilets. Alcohol and recreational drugs are not permitted for use on the night and anyone found using them or suspected to be doing so will be asked to leave. Organisers reserve the right to refuse admission to anyone because of their conduct on the night, as well as asking them to leave at a later time if required.
What To Bring
Please bring a suitable sleeping bag and anything else to keep you warm such as sleeping mats, blankets and pillows. If you are planning to use an old sleeping bag or one which you have not used in a long time, it is important to check that it is still suitable for use before the event.
Please remember that as part of the event, we are asking participants to sleep rough in order to raise awareness of homelessness, so please bear this in mind when considering which and how many items you plan to bring.
In addition, please dress appropriately – wear multiple layers, choose suitable footwear and remember extras such as hats, gloves, scarves and all other winter essentials.
You may also wish to bring a change of clothing to sleep in and/or another set of clothing to depart in on Saturday morning.
The Met’s forecast for Preston indicates it will be six degrees through the night and into Saturday morning, with a ‘feels like’ temperature reaching lows of just three degrees. Find the latest forecast here.
We will not be taking donations on the night, so please don’t bring money with you which you have already raised offline, or money that you are hoping to donate to the appeal – we will not have any fundraising buckets.
However, anyone wishing to donate on the night – whether they are in attendance or keeping track of the event online or through social media – is welcome and encouraged to do so.
You can donate via the online fundraising page by clicking here. Alternatively, donate anything between £1 and £20 by text message, simply by texting ‘PNESLEEPOUT’, followed by the amount ‘1-20’, TO 70085. For example, to donate £5, text ‘PNESLEEPOUT 5’ to 70085.
And if you know anyone participating who has a paper sponsorship form, you can also donate via this offline method too, and the total from all three donation methods - online, offline and text - will be added together in the coming weeks.
You can read all the event guidelines on the Foxton Centre website here.