27th February 2015

UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK POLITICS SOCIETY SPONSORED SLEEPOUT

 

On the 18th February 2015, a group of seven students from the University of Warwick Politics Society slept rough in Coventry War Memorial Park to raise money for Coventry Cyrenians. We arrived at the park at around 8pm, and chose our spot beneath the war memorial itself. We were soon met by Laura Reynolds from Cyrenians, who brought with her some much-appreciated cardboard (donated by Morrisions) for us to put down on the floor. She talked to us briefly about homelessness in the Coventry area, further reiterating exactly why we were doing the sleepout in the first place. By this point it was starting to get colder, so Laura left us to set up camp for the night.

Sleepout 1

 

We put the cardboard down to give us some insulation from the stone floor, then snuggled up in our sleeping bags, putting on the rest of our extra layers to try and get as warm as possible. As we huddled together, we talked about how difficult the night ahead would be, yet remained grateful that for us, unlike so many other people, this was only for tonight. At around midnight, the lights in the park began to switch off one by one, plunging us into complete darkness. It made us a bit nervous to hear foxes and other animals rustling around in the bushes, but not be able to see them! 

Sleepout 2

Despite being very cold and uncomfortable, some of us started to drift off into fitful sleep in the early hours of the morning. Around 4am we noticed a dramatic drop in the temperature, and it had started to drizzle. After this point it was exceptionally difficult to get warm again. By around 6am we were all wide awake, with early-morning joggers and dog walkers pouring into the park. We gathered our stuff together and left at around 6.30am. The experience was a real emotional roller-coaster, which was heightened by the cold weather and sleep deprivation. On the bus home we talked about how much we were looking forward to getting back to our warm rooms and having a hot shower. However, this was tainted by the feeling that for so many people that isn't possible, and they have to sleep out night after night for such long periods of time. 

 

Here are the names of the participants...

Rebecca Altieri

Max Rodgers

James Anderson

Ciaran McCormick

Mina Manik

Mahnoor Hussain

Philippa West

 

If you would like to sponsor them please go to www.justgiving.com/warwick-politics-society