Bath Rugby Foundation is calling on members of the local community to get involved with The Rec Sleep Out this autumn.
The event, scheduled for Wednesday 6th November, will see participants forgo the comfort of their beds for one night in exchange for the cold, concrete floor of the Rec’s West Stand.
The aim is to raise awareness of youth homelessness and the vulnerabilities young people often face, whilst raising funds to support Bath Rugby Foundation.
The first Rec Sleep Out took place in November 2018 with a total of 125 people, including first-team players Tom Dunn and Lucas Noguera, as well as members of Bath Rugby’s coaching team, taking part.
Bath Rugby Foundation CEO, Lynne Fernquest, said, “This is an issue staff are painfully aware of. We have young people taking part in our programmes who do not have a safe and secure place to sleep every night.
“Every hour of every day in the UK a teenager becomes homeless and we believe that’s unacceptable in 2019.
“As Government funding for youth support services continues to be cut, less and less support is now available for the rising number of youngsters who need it. Vulnerable children aren’t falling through the net; there is no net.
“This has to change. More people need to be aware of this very real and current issue and more needs to be done to tackle it.
“The threat of youth homelessness is an issue we will continue to highlight at Bath Rugby Foundation.”
Bath Rugby’s Tom Dunn added, “Taking part in the first Rec Sleep Out was an uncomfortable experience but was something that I felt was important to do. I’ve seen first-hand the great work that Bath Rugby Foundation does with young people in our community.
“Spending the night sleeping at the Rec seems a small sacrifice, compared to the suffering that some young people have to endure every night.”
Bath Rugby Foundation works with more than 3,000 children and young people annually and staff are increasingly aware that more and more of the participants on the charity’s programmes do not have the security of a permanent home. Many young people find themselves sofa-surfing or moving between various types of temporary accommodation. Sadly, there are often times that young people arrive at the charity hungry.
Bath Rugby Foundation is asking businesses to enter teams of four and ask that teams raise a minimum of £700, either by fundraising within your business or by direct donation, to take part.
Individuals will be asked to raise or pledge a minimum of £150. Students are asked to raise £50.
Visit the Bath Rugby Foundation website to sign up.
Pictured: Participants from The Rec Sleep Out 2018.