Dedicated Pendle Scouts have experienced what it feels like to be homeless by creating their own cardboard city and sleeping rough for a night.
The group from 16th Pendle Scouts in Colne wanted to put themselves in the shoes of those less fortunate than themselves, while also raising funds for Safe Space, a homeless charity in Nelson.
They were encouraged to only bring a few essential items to their sleeping spot outside Sacred Heart Church, and were paid a visit by Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson and Ben Peverley, project manager at SafeSpace.
Their brave efforts mean they will be one of the first groups in the county to achieve a new fund-raising badge. The award is one of three new badges introduced last month.
Kirsty Swierkowski, scout leader at 16th Pendle said: “It’s great that we can be one of the first groups in the county to gain this new badge.
“The Scouts have really enjoyed the challenge of sleeping in the boxes and to be raising money for such a worthwhile charity in the process is a good experience for them all.
“We would like to thank everyone who has supported this fund-raising effort and thanks also go to The Crown Hotel and Greggs who both donated food whilst the Scouts were sleeping out and to Housing Pendle for donating blankets to keep them warm.”
Safe Space take in young people between the ages of 16 and 25, who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
The charity try to give the young people skills to allow them to live on their own and look at getting them into training schemes or back into employment.
Claire Bennett, charity manager at Safe Space said: “We are incredibly grateful that the 16th Pendle Scouts have chosen to raise money for SafeSpace, as not only will it help us to provide essential items to the young people we support, such as essential food parcels and toiletries, it will also help raise awareness of the fact that young people in Pendle are be affected by homelessness.
“We receive over 150 referrals a year for our support and accommodation with demand has been increasing year on year. This clearly shows that youth homelessness is an ongoing issue for Pendle and not just for cities as some might expect. Thank you again, to all the scouts for their thoughts, commitment and support for our project.”
To join Scouts contact Simon Moorhouse on firstname.lastname@example.org