Lanarkshire volunteers look to raise awareness of homelessness with sponsored sleepout

Supporters of Airdrie charity Diamonds in the Community are preparing for a sponsored sleepout to raise funds and highlight the impact of homelessness and poverty.

More than 30 people – including whole families and ranging in age from a primary-school pupil to grandparents – will be settling down for the night outside the charity’s premises on Graham Street in the town centre.

They have already smashed their original fundraising target of £1000, reaching more than double that total with the inclusion of gift aid support; and are already planning for the event to take place annually.

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Running from 8pm on Saturday evening until 8am on Sunday, the event is in support of the charity’s Monklands baby and family clothing aid project, which supplies those in need with clothing, toiletries, equipment ranging from baby bottles to cots, and even furniture to set up new homes.

Sleeping bags donated for the event will afterwards be given to good causes, and participants are being supplied with mince and potatoes and hot breakfast rolls during their challenge.

A Diamonds charity spokesman told Lanarkshire Live: “We’re overwhelmed with the response by people both volunteering to take part and people donating.

“We are constantly helping people who are sofa surfing, living in scatter flats, can’t afford to feed or clothe their families, and heat or furnish their homes.

“This event will hopefully raise awareness of homelessness and poverty levels in our community, and help us raise valuable funds for the charity to help those in need – let’s do what we can to make poverty a thing of the past.”

Organisers have worked with community police and local businesses to organise the sponsored sleepout.

The spokesman added: “We hope it will become an annual event and plan on it being on the third Saturday of every November.”

Donations can be pledged at the group’s online sponsorship page, and volunteers will post updates on the weekend event on Facebook.

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