Would you sleep rough for a night?

Fundraising: The students have raised money for Centrepoint/Sophie Dishman.
Fundraising: The students have raised money for Centrepoint/Sophie Dishman.

A group of students from the University of Sunderland are doing exactly that.

The first year social work students are taking part in a sleepout on March 23 to March 24, to raise money for Centrepoint.

The national charity supports vulnerable, young people who are homeless.

Liam Smith, 20 is taking part in the sleepout.

Mr Smith said: “We are going to sleep out on the streets in support of them. [Centrepoint] is a service in desperate need of money.

“They support vulnerable, homeless teenagers who’ve been through some horrific circumstances [by] re-educating them, helping them find employment and housing.

“Because they are so young and vulnerable if they don’t get the chance this early in life then it’ll affect them for the rest of their lives.

“If we can get in now and intervene early, we can improve their lives.”

The group of 15 students, will be sleeping out in Sunderland city centre for 24 hours, from 7pm to 7am.

Mr Smith, added: “We’ve had some wonderful support from local businesses in terms of providing us places to stay and funds as well, gift vouchers in support of it.

Samantha Fawcett, 26, said: “We’ve got statistics and everything, we know there’s hidden homeless in Sunderland.

“People don’t think there are.

“We are getting the course together and showing that we can support vulnerable people.”

Ms Fawcett added: “Everyone’s vulnerable and I don’t think many people know exactly how many homeless are out there or what help’s there.

“So it’s nice for us to support them and get it out there that there are vulnerable homeless people in Sunderland.”

The students are “going to sleep like they do,” and are seeking sponsors to add to their existing total.

The group have raised a total of £775.08 so far.

Their target is £1000.

It comes as the group held a fundraising event at the Priestman cafe at the University of Sunderland to raise extra funds.

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