Triad Managing Director Adrian Leer reflects on a London sleep out to raise money and awareness for Action for Children.
Boycott your Bed 2022
Well, we did it. We slept out on a cold and damp October evening in Trinity Square Gardens, London. Fundraising was what the event was designed to encourage and at the time of writing, Team Triad was part of the England South Board that had raised in excess of £250,000! The event definitely had a degree of risk and challenge around it, and I certainly felt like I had jet lag for a few days afterwards. However, whilst I was chuffed that we made a difference, I also felt a bit deflated. I will tell you why.
Mind the gap
I think the experience filled me with sadness because it made the gap between those of us who have and those who don’t even starker. I was fortunate to have the money to invest in extra layers of clothing and to buy a decent sleeping bag; we were even lucky to be kept warm and cosy during a fantastic reception at the Civica offices. We were given a hearty meal. There were drinks available. There was entertainment. We had a bus laid on to take us from the reception to Trinity Square Gardens, which was to be our home for the night. Security guards let us in when we arrived, and security fencing was all around us. We were safe and free of any interference. Coffees were served on our arrival, and we were given tarpaulins and foil bags to keep ourselves dry and warm during the night. And throughout the night we had access to clean portaloos specially brought in for the event.
Staring up at the stars
The really powerful part of the experience was lying on the floor in London, staring up at the stars. It gave me time to think about the things I take for granted.
After sleeping in the park for a few hours, we knew we’d wake up to breakfast rolls and warm cups of tea. However, none of those things are available to the vulnerable children and young people we support.
They are lonely and afraid when they find themselves in the city, sleeping in the streets. They have no money in their pockets and no chance of recovering from one day to the next. I don’t think we should kid ourselves that we are heroes for sleeping out for one night under those conditions.
Taking action for children
The real heroes are the people at organisations like Action for Children. As children all over the UK go to sleep hungry, the team at Action for Children are battling to provide the basics; warm clothes, hot meals and a proper bed. They offer mental health support and find safe and loving homes for children and young people. They are the heroes. I am grateful to them for the opportunity to reflect on my own good fortune and raise money and awareness to help their cause. Thank you to you all.
Action for Children protects and supports children and young people, providing practical and emotional care and support, ensuring their voices are heard. Boycott your Bed is now the UK’s most prominent corporate sleepout event and is aimed at supporting young people who are homeless in the UK. You can support this wonderful cause by clicking here.