I think it’s fair to say that I’m not a runner. I am always impressed by those of my friends who not only run, but raise money for charity while doing so. Fit AND virtuous. That’s worthy of envy.
One thing I have, however, spent a lot of time doing over the past 7 years is Not Sleeping. So imagine my delight when I realised that I could turn my Not Sleeping expertise to a good cause.
Meet Nightstop Teesside
They work in my local area training and supporting volunteers to provide emergency accommodation for young people aged between 16-25, and to try to offer longer-term placements to help them get a foothold in life.
They are threatened with closure because of lack of resources, and one of their fundraising initiatives is a Big Tees Sleep Out in Redcar town centre at the end of the month.
I hate the cold. My circulation is, like the rest of me, a little lazy, and usually gives up about two thirds of the way down each (admittedly lengthy) limb. It’s going to be uncomfortable, awkward, and we will be the on-street entertainment for the Saturday night crowd.
I will, however, have the advantage of a warm bed the night before and after, a hot meal before and after, good quality kit (thanks for the loan, Dad) and a safe and loving home to come back to. I hate to think of any person, especially any young person, sleeping rough when none of this is the case, and worse, but of course – disgracefully – they do.
So, if you have any spare pennies at all, please help me support Nightstop Teesside and keep their work going.
It’s 24 hours to go. I need to go and check all my various borrowed items of winter gear, and – following a tip from a fellow camper-outer – try to waterproof my cardboard box against the forecast heavy rain.
I am physically shrinking from the prospect. Lots of people have said variants along the lines of: “surely it will be cancelled, given the weather?” and then checked themselves, and every time it brings it home how for some people it just isn’t a choice.