After the success of RESTART’s annual Sleepout at the end of last year (2021), where seven wonderful teachers from Prince’s Gardens Prep joined us in bedding down for the evening outside St Columba’s Church in Knightsbridge, the school has gone on to organise their own version of a sleepout – this time, asking the pupils to take on the challenge…

On the night of Friday 18 March, over 40 pupils headed into school but instead of the usual learning in their classrooms, they laid down sleeping bags and slept overnight in the school building to show their support to RESTART and its guests.

The event was organised by PG teacher, Mr Laidlaw, who kicked off the evening with a welcome talk and some activities (including shelter-making) which helped the children to think about homelessness and the important reasons behind their participation in this challenge.

Olivia, Programmes Manager, was glad to join for the start of the Sleep-in and said:

“it was super to see the pupils getting to know what RESTART is about; they seem to be really considering the issue of homelessness and were such a joy to chat to!

 

It was also amazing to hear that some of the younger years were getting involved as well by giving up their bed – they slept at home but chose their floor/garden/a surface that was not a usual comfy mattress”.

Meanwhile on the same Friday, the RESTART staff and volunteers were busy helping run our weekly Friday drop-in – where guests visit to have a sit down, hot meal and access friendly advice and support from the charity. The simultaneous timing of the drop-in and the Sleep-in helped make Prince’s Gardens event feel even more poignant and was a useful reminder of what was happening right then in London.

A huge thank you goes out to Mr Waller and the whole school community for getting involved – also to the fantastic parents who got behind this event and gave generously by sponsoring a grand total of £2,220! This on top of the £2,830 that the teachers raised for RESTART in November 2021.

These are incredible donations and, for a small charity like RESTART, will make a big difference, allowing us to help men and women that experience homelessness and unemployment to move beyond rough sleeping and into accommodation, jobs and independent living.

We hope that everyone who took part in the Sleep-in challenge feels much more rested now and we look forward to seeing what else can be done when Prince’s Gardens and RESTART join forces!

#princesgardens    #greatsleepin    #restartlives