Sleepout 2012 - A Brief Encounter

Last night, I spent several hours with a very enthusiastic bunch of people who were doing a sponsored sleepout for the homeless as part of a national initiative called Sleepout 2012.  

 The group I was with were in the car park of a charity called Keyhouse in Bradford, but there were similar groups up and down the country sleeping for homeless charities, live-linked to London via the Community Channel, where celebrity sleepers included "Branson" and " Daisy" from Downton Abbey!  The Bradford group raised over £10,000.  One chap raised nearly £1000 on his own.  As some residents of Keyhouse were there, we could see for ourselves what a difference the money would make.

I was invited to read a "bedtime story", although I don't think anyone was remotely ready for bed at that point.  As I was there for several hours, I also wrote a flash fiction "in situ", partly inspired by a piece of artwork being created during the course of the night, courtesy of Participate.

She Walks like Beauty in the Night

She walks on silent feet.  The mosaic figure of antiquity.  I have seen her face on the stuccoed ceilings of Georgian grandeur.  I have glimpsed her form in the granite monuments of Victorian industry.  But tonight she walks where the movers and the shakers lie on the cheerless turf of the restless and the shiverers.  Tonight Charity sleeps in a car park.  Tonight Charity begins with the homeless.


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