These days it can feel like half of the people you know are running a half marathon or hiking a mountain in support of a charity. But Emmer Green-based 89th Reading Scouts recently got up to something a little different to raise money for a good cause.
19 Scouts chose to sleep under the stars to raise money to support Launchpad, a homelessness prevention charity based in Reading. And, thanks to the determination and courage of the Scouts (and their leaders!) the group raised an astonishing £1,270 for the charity.
“Launchpad visited one of our Scout meetings to explain the issue of homelessness and what the charity does to help tackle the issue,” explains Gareth Evans, Scout Leader at 89th Reading Scout Group. “At Scouts, we believe in helping others, so we chose to try and support Launchpad while also putting ourselves in the shoes of a homeless person for a night.”
After an evening of toasting marshmallows and singing campfire songs, the Scouts and their leaders bravely bedded down on cardboard and tarpaulins – and, apart from a 3am rain shower, the group made it through to the morning without incident. After a tidy up and a large breakfast, the group then spent some time reflecting on the experience.
Gareth adds, “It’s obviously a bit of an adventure for the Scouts, but it definitely gave them a new appreciation for the realities of sleeping rough. Thinking about how different the experience would have been if they were in a public place, or under a bridge, and with nowhere else to go, really helped them understand the value of the work charities like Launchpad.”
Launchpad celebrated the efforts of the intrepid Scouts on their social channels, posting: “Well done to the 89th Reading Scouts who held their own Big Sleep Out. They also received their community impact and fundraising badges. Only one rain shower during the night! Brilliant achievement, you’re all superstars! Every penny you have raised will go towards our work in helping many local vulnerable people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home. Whilst one night of sleeping out is nothing like the real experience of being a rough sleeper. It gives you a tiny insight and helps Launchpad highlight the plight of Reading’s homeless.”
Well done 89th Scouts!