28 October 2020

Glass Door held its first ever Virtual Sleep Out on the wettest day in recorded history. Live-streamed interviews connected participants in the UK and beyond.

Over 300 participants gave up their beds across the UK and beyond on Friday, 2 October 2020 to raise awareness and funds for Glass Door's homeless support services, revamped for the coming winter to ensure guests, staff and volunteers remain safe during the global pandemic.

Highlights






With wind gusting and rain lashing down all night long, participants slept in dispersed locations across London and beyond. Some were on rooftops and balconies. Others were in church doorways and vestries. We knew of at least one participant in France and another taking part in Denmark.

Due to government restrictions, Sleep Out 2020 went fully virtual, with a programme to keep everyone connected broadcast live from Duke of York Square.

Alive and virtual

The live-streamed programme includes a poem read by actor Colin Firth, a bedtime story read by actor Jim Carter, and a message from Dame Helen Mirren. Presenters Bibi Lynch and Elizabeth Healey interview a range of special guests including Chelsea FC legend Paul Canoville, sleep specialist Dr Kat as well as former guests of Glass Door. Interviews with Glass Door staff and Sleep Out participants feature throughout. At midnight, DJ Northern Boy plays a soulful, mellow set to help participants wind down before sleep.

In the morning, yoga instructor Nadia Mishchanka provides a rise and shine session, which was followed by a final thank you message from CEO Lucy Abraham.

The broadcast is free for all to access. Tell friends, family and supporters to tune in to https://www.glassdoor.org.uk/livestream to find out more about homelessness, the importance of sleep, and why we should all do what we can to help others find a path beyond homelessness.

Elizabeth Healey hosts Sleep Out

Photos

Many participants sent us videos and photos during the event. A selection can be found on our Facebook page.

Other photos found on Instagram and Facebook feeds.

Funds raised

To date, about £160,000 has been raised as part of the Sleep Out (or in) 2020 appeal.

At a time when a growing number of people are facing job losses and homelessness, Glass Door is facing the additional challenge of keeping guests, volunteers and staff safe while Covid-19 is still at large.  Knowing many will be in desperate need of shelter, food and support to move beyond homelessness this winter, Glass Door has developed new ways of providing these essential services in the coming winter

While our new services are safer, they are also more costly. The funds raised from the event has enabled the charity to launch the new services in November.

Every £420 that has been raised could give someone an individual room with three meals included for two weeks—and more importantly—a start on their pathway out of homelessness.

Thank you

to everyone who joined us, volunteered on the night, donated and helped spread the word.

Special mention is due our friends at Cadogan Estates for supporting the event year after year. Spider PR provided support with publicity and also had a massive team taking part. Presenters Bibi Lynch and Elizabeth Healey kindly acted as our hosts for the night. Thank you to our special guests, including Colin Firth, Jim Carter, Paul Canoville, Mayor of RBKC Gerard Hargreaves, sleep specialist Dr Kat, wellness coach Nadia Mishchanka, former guest James, Jeremy Summerly and the Choir of St Luke's Church, John Shepherd of Partridges and DJ Northern Boy. Photographer (and participant) Franc Vissers kindly provided his time and talent. Several staff members, including Eddie, Neil, Alex, Joe, Anna, Ben, Gemma, Steve, Melissa and Lucy also provided insight into their work and experience.

And of course: massive thanks due all of you who gave up the warmth and comfort of your own beds to take part! 

We can not thank everyone enough. Together, we are getting people off the street and into more stable futures. 

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