School Pupils Sleeping Rough

On Saturday 24th March twenty-four pupils at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School spent the night sleeping rough.

The SleepEasy challenge was created by the YMCA to raise awareness of homelessness and raise funds for the cause. Since 2010, over 6,000 people have participated in one of the YMCA’s SleepEasy events, where participants sleep rough for a night to highlight the country-wide issue.

Pupils arrived for the challenge at 9pm to experience a small aspect of what it is like to be homeless. The School’s Chaplain Reverend Jonathan Boyce, one of the organisers of the event, was keen for pupils to get an idea of what it is like to be a homeless person.  

The challenge took place in the School’s covered sports area that is open to the elements on three sides. Pupils were welcomed by Mr Frank Kelly, Deputy Mayor of Reigate and Banstead Council, who thanked them for taking part and raising awareness for the issue. Pupils were then tasked with building the cardboard shelters that would be their homes for the night.

The School’s Catering team provided the group with a simple meal of soup, bread and hot chocolate to keep them warm during the cold night. Pupils were made aware of how lucky they were to receive the food, as a rough sleeper would not have a guaranteed meal.

Rev Boyce said of the SleepEasy experience, “We were so impressed with the twenty-four pupil participants. The event was aimed at giving our pupils an insight into the sort of issues a homeless person faces. Our young people responded to the overnight challenge admirably. Additionally, it was great to show our support as a School for the important work done by the YMCA East Surrey. ”

28th March 2018

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