St Mary’s Stadium hosts a sleep out

LAST Friday, Saints Foundation and The Big Issue Foundation came together to take part in a sleep out for the homeless at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton.

The event was held on November 30 to raise awareness for homeless people around the city in order to gather money for both foundations in their bid to help people off the streets.

It is the latest development in an already successful partnership between the two organisations.

The Sleep Out took part in the grounds of St Mary's Stadium in Southampton.
The Sleep Out took part in the grounds of St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton.

Those included in the sleep out started gathering around 8pm, getting the chance to sleep in the Itchen stand and concourse with Saints Foundation ambassador and former European & commonwealth 400m champion Iwan Thomas.

Iwan is one of 90 volunteers who experienced what life is like for the homeless. Friday night saw those involved sleep in cold temperatures, with rain in the early hours of the morning.

The night included live music, talks from special guests such as ex Southampton manager Lawrie Mcmenemy, as well as a variety of games and quizzes.

It was an early 7am start on Saturday morning for those involved though, as the stadium needed to be used by the Saints for them to prepare for their game against Manchester United that afternoon.

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Olympian, Iwan Thomas slept with the homeless in the stadium on Friday night.

Southampton Football Club and The Big Issue joined forces back in August 2017 to provide employment opportunities for vendors in the local community, as well as other participants from Saints Foundation’s programmes who have faced some of life’s biggest challenges.

These include homelessness, drug and alcohol misuse and mental health issues.

The fundraising target was £200 per person, and the funds raised will be split 50/50 between the worthwhile causes of the Foundations.

For more information on the Big Stadium Sleep Out, visit The Big Issue Foundation’s FAQ section or Fundraising Officer, Amy Bennet at abennett@saintsfc.co.uk

By Luke Henry (@Luke_Henry1), Katie Woodcock (@katiewoodcockx) & Hannah Watkins (@hannahlwatkins_)