Four members of probation staff braved cold conditions and slept rough for the night to raise cash for charity.
Colleagues from the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) took part in an event run by Trinity Winchester, an organisation that provides facilities and support for homeless and vulnerable people six days a week.
The CRC uses the Trinity Centre as a reporting centre. This encourages people on probation to access support, including counselling, womens’ services, food and clothing, as well as washing facilities and housing advice.
Case managers Tara Hourigan and Nicola Kavanagh who both work out of the Trinity Centre together with case Coordinator Katie Tambascia , unpaid work case manager Liz Crouch were joined by Sarah Bartlett-Bond from employment, education and training partner Ixion all participated in ‘The Big Sleep Out’ which was hosted at Winchester Cathedral and involved scores of people from across the city sleeping rough in a sponsored event.
Katie Tambascia, a case co-ordinator based at the CRC’s Basingstoke office, went prepared with leggings, cardboard box and a fluffy onesie.
She said: “I was warm enough, but it was an emotional experience because it brought home to us the hardships faced by people every night.
“The toilet situation – especially for women – is far from easy. I was also woken by a cold draft, and after 4.30am couldn’t get back off to sleep.
“For many living on the streets, that’s their reality every night. But we all knew we were being picked up and would be going back to warm houses, food and a caring family.
“It gave us a much deeper appreciation of what homelessness really means.”
Katie said: “I learned that but for the grace of God there go I. Things we take for granted, like washing, getting quality sleep, knowing your possessions are safe – none of this applies to the homeless community.
“We were proud to support Trinity Winchester and raise the organisation’s profile. The charity does sterling work. I wish that such good service could be replicated across Hampshire.”
To sponsor team members, go to their fundraising pages:
To learn more about Trinity Winchester and see how to donate, please click: http://trinitywinchester.org.uk/