Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
From left, operations manager Sue Burgess

Big Sleep organisers: from left, Sue Burgess, Elaine Partington and Sam Fuller, of Awareness for Action, Seaview’s fundraising and awareness group.

Ready for the Big Sleep

This Friday evening the Seaview Project will throw the spotlight on the growing problem of homelessness in Hastings with an evening of music in the Stade Open Space followed by the Big Sleep, when some 150 fund-raising volunteers will bed down in the open to experience the reality of sleeping rough for a night. Nick Terdre reports.

It is now 30 years since Seaview began tackling problems of homelessness and insecure housing for some of the town’s most vulnerable residents. The Big Sleep, the most ambitious event organised by the St Leonards-based charity, comes at a time when the problem is growing and public funding to tackle it is being reduced.

TBS LIVE A4 resizedThe event on the Stade Open Space has been made possible by a grant from the Foreshore Trust. Ahead of the mass sleep-out come a couple of hours of music and entertainment, open to all. The concert will feature roots and  blues man, King Size Slim, winner of the Emerging Artist award at the British Blues Awards last year – and eight-piece local reggae band, Mighty Sounds. Our host will be local actress, Lisa Harmer-Pope, better known as Q-list celebrity, Candie Foreshaw, from Big Sister Get Me Out Of Here.

The space will then be closed for the sleep-in – but before bedding down The Big Sleep participants will be treated to an unplugged set of music around a brazier and a bedtime story read to them by Candie. Each participant will be provided with a cardboard box, but they are also advised to wear plenty of warm, water-proof clothing and bring a sleeping bag. The weather forecast at present is for a dry night with temperatures dipping to 11C. Hot drinks will be available through the night and porridge will be served in the morning. Soup will also be provided.

Participants have had to raise a minimum of £25 to book their spot – and altogether more than £10,000 has been raised to support Seaview’s work, operations manager, Sue Burgess, tells HOT.

“We have been overwhelmed by the response and support from the general public  and have had to cap the numbers at 150. We would like to thank all those who have registered and raised a phenomenal amount of sponsorship; all funds raised will go towards our frontline services working with rough sleepers, homeless and inadequately housed people,” she says.

“We are pleased to say that the business community have also backed the event. Our main sponsors are Stamco, Undercliffe House, the Park Lane Group, Pissarro’s, Simply Italian and the Carlisle. Those that have donated in kind are also highlighted on the website.”

To celebrate its 30th anniversary Seaview has also produced a booklet documenting its work in words and pictures. This will also be on sale at Friday’s event for a fiver.


The Big Sleep Stade Open Space, Friday 25 September. From 8 to 10pm, live music from King Size Slim and Mighty Sounds, hosted by Candie Foreshaw. From 10pm overnight sleep-out for 150.

Big Sleep website and Facebook page.

Seaview Project Southwater Centre, Hatherley Road, St Leonards-on-Sea TN37 6LB. Tel 01424 717981. Open Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm except Wed 10am-2pm.

See also Are you ready for a night of sleeping rough?



Posted 12:08 Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 In: Home Ground

Also in: Home Ground

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