Overnight sleep-out at Mariners Park raises over £1,000 – so far

Overnight sleep-out at Mariners Park raises over £1,000 – so far

Well over £1,000 has been raised following the club’s overnight sleep-out event, which was held on Saturday.

Ten hardy individuals took part in the event, including Mariners players Jon Shaw, Carl Finnigan and Barrie Smith.

Sleepout 4The sleep-out was chiefly to raise awareness of the challenges homeless people face on a daily basis, as well as to raise funds and awareness for the charities Hospitalty & Hope, and North East Athletic.

Those who took part kept themselves entertained in the early part of the event, before battling through the freezing conditions throughout the rest of the night.

For Jon, it was a thoroughly worthwhile challenge to take part in.

He said: “It was a bit of an eye-opener.

“We were out there for seven hours, uncomfortable and with broken sleep, and there was bad weather.

Sleepout 2“It was fun at times and we had a bit of a laugh, but you couldn’t imagine having to do it more than one night.

“The money is great and will help the charities. It won’t make a massive dent in anything, but every little helps.

“At the same time, hopefully it raises awareness for people and gives people a bit more of an idea of what is going on.

“People can help in different ways, whether it’s by dropping clothes into homeless charities or helping someone you see on the street.

“I think that was more the point than the money that we raised on the night.”

Sleepout 3Carl added: “When we woke up, we said to each other there was no way we could do that every night.

“Our thoughts have to go out to people who do have to deal with that on a daily basis, because it was difficult just for one night.

“I only had about 20 minutes of sleep all night, and I know the rest of the lads were the same.”

Also taking part were Shields committee members Bob Scott and Daniel Prince, commercial manager Alisha Henry, volunteers Brian Lawson and Carl Sharp, youth coach Darren Churchill and staff member Laura Ferguson.

The funds raised will go towards Hospitality & Hope, and North East Athletic.

Hospitality & Hope is a South Shields-based organisation, which helps those in need, including the homeless. It operates a soup kitchen and food bank in the borough.

North East Athletic is a sports club for people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction in the region, some of whom are homeless.

All of those who took part in the event would like to thank those who kindly sponsored them.

Sleepout 5Donations were also made at South Shields’ game against Chester-le-Street Town on Saturday, while they continue to be made on the online fundraising page. That can be viewed, and the pot can be added to, by clicking here.

A full picture gallery from the night, with the photographs taken by Peter Talbot, can be viewed by clicking here.

The club will give a full update on the final total raised when all of the donations are received and counted.