Subzero Temps Bring A Harsh Reality to Homeless Plight at Sleep in the Park Event

Subzero Temps Bring A Harsh Reality to Homeless Plight at Sleep in the Park Event

Emma Short and Emma Park joined 9,000 other participants on December 9th for Sleep in the Park, the world’s largest ever sleep-out event.   Organized by Edinburgh Homelessness Charity, Social Bite, they slept in the sub-zero 25317224_10214322188265571_180551377_otemperatures under the stars in Edinburgh’s city centre with the aim of raising £4m to eradicate homelessness in Scotland.

Emma Short and Emma Park were excited to take part by sleeping out in the cold overnight along with the other participants to gain some insight into what type of conditions homeless people experience every day. They planned on taking two sleeping bags and two camping chairs.  Emma Short thought she and Emma Park would drink hundreds of cups of tea between them in the effort to keep warm.

Sheena Macleod, an author and One Million Project Administrator, interviewed Emma Short about the event and their experiences.  Emma’s story about the night follows:

“The event was incredible. We started off in a very excited queue that went the entire length and around Princess Street in Edinburgh. Once in we got our yellow corporate bands which gave us access to some pretty cool sites, we found our patc25317277_10214322185505502_334669509_oh of grass where we left our chairs and sleeping bags. It was already minus 2 at 7pm so we knew we were gonna be freezing through the night. – It turned out to be the coldest night of the year, minus 7 at points.

25319624_10214322185025490_151981106_o (1)The concert itself was amazing. We heard from some homeless people who were so open about their stories. Josh Littlejohn, the Social Bite founder, gave a speech which made 8500 people cry and Bonnie Higgs a fifteen-year-old homeless girl sang an original song called ‘Coppers’.  She had a natural talent that will hopefully go very far.

The entertainment was brilliant. Deacon Blue slept in the park with us, and Amy McDonald and Liam Gallacher sang some of their own music. We were read a bedtime story by John Cleese. The queue for hot water was two hours long just to be told the water was all gone, so we wandered to our sleeping bags and got into our bright orange survival bags to try and warm down for the night.

We managed about two hours sleep. At one point I woke up thinking I was having a heart attack. I wasn’t, but it was the coldest25353237_10214322188025565_453277949_o I have ever felt. The atmosphere was pretty grim. You could hear everyone chatting about how cold they were, some couldn’t feel their toes, and some were so cold they went home.

I’m not sure what we were meant to be thinking when we drove home at 6am, but I’m sure the idea was that we thought about how we were going home to hot baths and showers, while homeless people have no escape from the cold. It really did affect both of us, we were quite emotional in the car.

I’m not sure I could do it again, but I’m going to try next year if they hold the same event.

At last count, we were told almost 3 million pounds had been raised.”

The One Million Project (OMP), a non-profit group, raises money and awareness for homelessness globally, were delighted to support Emma Short and Emma Park in their sleep-out to raise funds and awareness of homelessness in Scotland.

25346181_10214322186985539_1535621284_o
Emma Short (left) and Emma Park

As part of their attendance at Sleep In the Park, Emma Short and Emma Park are running a fundraiser. You can support them on –  https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=ac-balfield-road&pageUrl=2

 

 

 

Another Wonderful Christmas

by Sheena Macleod

Lights glittering, people passing,

Carrying shopping bags filled with Christmas dreams

Frost glistening on the sidewalk of life

I watch it all and wonder

Where these people have come from

I wonder where they are going

And I wonder, why not me?

 

Carols spilling from shops

Overflowing with all kinds of earthly and heavenly joys

Choirs singing about silent nights and mercies mild

I listen to it all and wonder

Whether peace on Earth is possible

I wonder if these words fill others with hope

And I wonder, why not me?

 

Strangers passing, throwing a coin

Or placing a hot cup of tea in my hand

Others hurrying by, blind to the rows of homeless

I look at them all and wonder

What they will be doing next year

I wonder if they’ll be filled with Christmas cheer

And I wonder, why not me?

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Sleep in the Park Event Set for Dec. 9th

Sleep in the Park Event Set for Dec. 9th

Blog by Dr. Sheena Macleod

The One Million Project (OMP), a non-profit making group, raising money and awareness for homelessness and cancer globally, are delighted to support Emma Short and Emma Park in their sleep-out to raise funds and awareness of homelessness in Scotland.

Emma Short and Emma Park are attending Sleep in the Park, the world’s largest ever sleep-out event organised by Edinburgh Homelessness Charity, Social Bite. They will be joining about 9,000 other participants who will sleep rough in Edinburgh’s city centre with the aim of raising £4m to eradicate homelessness in Scotland.

Emma Short and Emma Park are excited to take part in this event, which takes place in West Princes Street Gardens on Saturday 9 December 2017. By sleeping out in the cold overnight, they, along with the other participants will experience what homeless people experience every day.

By working together with local people and community groups, Social Fund aims to raise awareness of homelessness They want to stop the existing sticky plaster mentality and get to the root issues and eradicate homelessness over a five year period. In partnership with Local Authorities, they plan to provide housing, rehabilitation and job opportunities alongside support to help homeless people get back on their feet.

Ultimately, Social Bite wants Scotland to be at the forefront of eradicating homelessness as an example for the rest of the world to follow.

In total, 9,000 people will be sleeping overnight in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh.  Comedian, Rob Brydon, is hosting the event and attendees will be entertained by an impressive line-up of A-list artists before bedding down for a cold night in the open. They will enjoy sets from Liam Gallagher, Deacon Blue, Amy Macdonald, Frightened Rabbit and other surprise guests. John Cleese will be reading a bedtime story.

Attendees will hear of his support of the cause from Sir Bob Geldof, who will also be sleeping out overnight along with a host of other celebrities, sports personalities, and figures from across Scotland’s political parties.

Emma Short and Emma Park are pretty excited to be sleeping out.  Arnold Clark are one of the Sleep In the Park sponsors, and Emma Short won their tickets through them. The only thing Emma Short and Emma Park had to do was pay a £100 donation and raise more money for the cause.  Arnold Clark will double whatever they raise. Fifty of Arnold Clark’s employees are going, and between them, they aim to raise about 10k.

When Emma Short won their tickets through work, they decided to raise as much money as possible. They plan on taking two sleeping bags and two camping chairs.  Emma Short thinks her and Emma Park will drink hundreds of cups of tea between them. The OMP think this is well deserved, and congratulate them in advance of their venture.

No tickets are being sold for Sleep in the Park. People can only attend by reaching fundraising targets and accepting the sleep-out challenge. Find out more and sign up at sleepinthepark.co.uk.

As part of their attendance at Sleep In the Park, Emma Short and Emma Park are running a fundraiser. You can support them on –  https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=ac-balfield-road&pageUrl=2

 

How A Cold December Night Will Help End Homelessness

On a cold December night, 9,000 people will be gathering for the Sleep in the Park to end homelessness in Scotland.  It will be the world’s largest sleepover, EVER. Emma Louise Short and Emma Park — members of the One Million Project (OMP) — will be participating and will experience on Dec. 9, 2017, what homeless people live with all day, every day.

The hope is to raise social awareness by working together with local communities and groups as they try to get to the root issues of this problem.  The organizers have a plan to eradicate homelessness in Scotland within five years by providing people with housing, rehabilitation, job opportunities and support to get back on their feet.

Check back with the OMP blog as we post reports from the Sleep in the Park event, photos and interviews with the “Emma’s” about their experiences.

Interested in learning more?   https://www.sleepinthepark.co.uk/