OSTC is extremely proud to sponsor Ayo Aguda, Company Secretarial Assistant, who took part in Sleep Out London 2017 on Thursday 16th November.
Sleep Out replicates a small part of the experience of sleeping rough, while raising money for young people facing it. Here is Ayo’s experience at Sleep Out London 2017:
“The Event began at 19:30 by the river banks of the Thames about 200 meters from the o2 Arena in Greenwich and the heady and opulent views of corporate banks of Canary Wharf across the river. The setting of what would be a loose facsimile of the plight of those in poverty struck a sharp contrast with its setting.
From 20:00 onwards, the Royal Air Force 3rd Mobile Catering Squadron provided the meals and hot beverages as the volunteers and participants began to find the areas in which we had been designated to sleep.
At 10:00 pm the organisers made a rallying call for the fundraisers to continue their work and we were treated to heartfelt speeches and testimonials from formerly homeless people who had been lifted and given a future by Centrepoint. At 11 pm, it was time for ‘lights out’. Some opted to have covering marquees, others opted to sleep under the stars and face the elements. By now it was 5 degrees but still manageable. By about 1.30am the temperatures dipped to one to two degrees but felt like minus 5 thanks to the wind, I could see the frost creep across my sleeping bag – this single moment brought into sharp focus the experience many endure on a daily/nightly basis.
All in all, it was an interesting experience, and at the time of writing the Sleepout has managed just about half a million pounds with my team of four raising some £2,000 from the collective fundraising efforts.
In summation, when considering the presence of hundreds of others, the military encampments and the Spartan resources, being part of a collective of many others all experiencing the same thing at the same time, the experience felt more ‘refugee-like’ than homeless. To be honest, I am not sure which is more harrowing.
It was only for a night, for which I am grateful.
It’s not too late to donate to this fantastic cause, click here to view Ayo’s donation page.