Volunteers sleep out in Dunstable to raise money to help the homeless

A couple, who run a weekly soup kitchen in Dunstable, slept outside Gary Coopers pub on Friday, December 13, to raise awareness of homelessness.

Pamela and David Sainsbury, from Lewsey Farm, wanted to raise awareness of the issue in Dunstable and raise money for the soup kitchen.

The group slept outside in Dunstable

The group slept outside in Dunstable

The couple, who run Homeless and Hungry, hold The Disciples of the Church soup kitchen every Saturday night at The Methodist Church, in Ashton Square.

Pamela said: “The idea of the sleep out is to raise awareness of what they are going through and how hard it is for them.

“We have been doing the soup kitchen every week for about two years.

“People are really happy to see us and they enjoy the food, the company and seeing a friendly face, they look forward to it every week.

The group slept outside in Dunstable

The group slept outside in Dunstable

“The Methodist Church in Dunstable let us use the hall every week and we are really grateful.

“We also get donations from Greggs, Coffee Republic and Costa Coffee, we are really grateful for the support they give us.

“We also make our own food, we do pasta bake, curry and chilli and rice.”

Pamela and her husband run the charity but have volunteers who help them each week, they are based at St Hugh’s Church in Lewsey Farm.

The group slept outside in Dunstable

The group slept outside in Dunstable

She added: “I have been homeless myself so I know what they are going through, my husband is ex-army and has a passion for helping the homeless too.”

The group of ten set up their tents outside the pub in Grove Park, Dunstable, and stayed over night, the next day they were collecting donations from the public.

Pamela said: “It went well, it was extremely cold, very wet and windy, but we did it.

“We have raised £1640 and we are hoping to use the money towards getting a shelter in Dunstable, we have our eyes on a property but we are just trying to get in touch with the owner.

“I think the sleep out did raise awareness of the situation in Dunstable, people saw us and came over to speak to us and ask us what we were doing, it’s important to let people know what we are doing.

“There was about ten of us that slept out, a mix of volunteers and some homeless people joined us too.”