Your chance to help the homeless and young people in our Diocese.

Over the last few years young people, leaders and catechists have spent the night sleeping out in gardens, car parks and on school fields to better understand how it feels for those sleeping rough throughout the Diocese, as well as raising thousands of pounds to help local homeless charities.

Raising awareness of homelessness in Essex and East London is crucial to helping our young people and adults have a collective sense of responsibility within the community. Homelessness is a complex issue with deep-rooted causes, ranging from economic challenges to mental health issues. By shedding light on those experiencing homelessness, we can rid stereotypes, challenge misconceptions, and encourage a better understanding to helping those in need in this area. All this will help us to support local initiatives, charities, and government programs aimed at providing shelter, resources, and long-term solutions – creating a more well-informed and compassionate community.

Gather a group and host your own “Sponsored Sleepout” with just a sleeping bag and mat or cardboard boxes to sleep on or under. No tents allowed, whatever the weather!

Ask friends, family, staff and parishioners to sponsor you as you spend the night outdoors. This could be per hour, or a set amount for the whole night.


  • Find a secure space – a parish car park, private garden or school field with access to toilet facilities.
  • Get people to sign up – could this be part of your confirmation programme or a whole school or parish community event?
  • Gather at 9pm in a hired parish hall or school classroom
  • If you are able, arrange a talk with someone involved with the homeless in our Diocese (we can assist in linking you with people or projects locally [email protected])
  • Then watch a film which gives insight into what it is like to be homeless – some suggestions are “A Streetcat named Bob”, “The Pursuit of Happiness” or “I am Daniel Blake”. (please check the age rating and suitability for your group!)
  • End the evening with a short Mass or prayer together if no clergy are available.
  • Share a hot chocolate, or warm soup as you set up your mats and sleeping bags outside.
  • Around 6am, or as people begin to wake, share a brief morning prayer of gratitude and don’t forget to congratulate your group.
  • Depart by 7am, or as people are ready.

We have templates for consent forms, timetables, posters, risk assessments and sponsorship forms to assist you. If you are organising a group, please do let us know if and how you are taking part by emailing [email protected]

This event is free to participate but please try to raise as much sponsorship as you are able – anything from £10 to £1000!

Why not set yourself individual or groups targets? £2024 for the year of 2024?

Sponsorship forms can be provided by emailing [email protected]

You could ask people to sponsor you one whole amount or per hour you sleep outside.

If you are participating with a school, parish or friendship group, you could raise sponsorship together or you might prefer to do this individually (maybe see who can raise the most!)

The beneficiaries are registered charities so you may find companies willing to match fund sponsorship – please do reach out and ask them.


Any money raised from these events will go towards supporting the homeless charities across Essex and East London.

Sponsored Sleepouts over the past few years