Hundreds sign up to sleep rough in Hatfield

THIS Saturday, more than 100 people are expected to spend the night out in the winter cold in order to raise money and awareness of homelessness in Welwyn Hatfield.

Central Herts YMCA will hold its first ever Sleep Easy outside the Galleria, on Comet Way, Hatfield – one of 17 identical events taking place across the country that evening.

The event is being sponsored by WGC-based business networking group BNI Arena, which has pledged to raise �1,500 towards the cause.

Five BNI Arena members have signed up to the Sleep Easy event, including Neil Kirby, who said: “We are really pleased to support the YMCA because they look after so many people at the hostel.

“I can’t imagine what it’s like sleeping rough in weather like this so we wanted to do everything we could to help.

“It’ll be a cold night but you have to remember that some people have to sleep out in this every night so we’re lucky we’re only doing it for one night.”

Others who will be spending the night out on the street include Strictly Come Dancing star Camilla Dallerup and her fiance, Hollyoaks actor Kevin Sacre, WHT reporter Ross Logan and Neil and Sarah Langley, husband and daughter of Welwyn Hatfield mayor Kim.

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There are still plenty of spaces left for the Sleep Easy event, and the YMCA’s fundraising officer Sally Mayor said the recent cold snap may have put a few people off.

“The Sleep Easy was never intended to involve a comfortable, warm night’s sleep, but raise the issues of what homeless people face,” she said.

“However, the extreme conditions we’ve been facing, that continually affect so many people who have no choice but to sleep rough, appears to have directly affected the number of enquiries that we have received from potential participants.”

Email Sally Mayor on sally.mayor@centralherts or call 01707 290717 for more details.