Scouts raise £1,500 for homeless in sleep-out

Sitting out for the homeless
Sitting out for the homeless

Young people and leaders from 1st Tandragee Scouts braved the cold to sleep out for the Simon Community, raising more than £1,522.

Despite it being the night of Storm Brian, up to 14 Explorers and 17 leaders wrapped up warm for the fundraising event, held outside Tandragee Masonic Hall.

A further 25 younger Scouts slept on cardboard boxes and sleeping bags inside the hall.

On the afternoon of the sleep-out, the Explorers made stew and soup - with meat and vegetables donated by a butcher and greengrocer in Tandragee - which was distributed to a Simon Community shelter in Portadown.

The group also collected a large amount of items, including toiletries and non-perishable food - which has been donated to the Simon Community in Belfast, for use in welcome packs for the homeless.

Section leader Simon Kelly said, “As a group we are so proud of the Scouts and Explorers who completed the sleep-out and we were blown away by the generosity of everyone who donated and stopped with us on Saturday night.

“The sleep-out really did bring it home to the young people just what it would be like to have to do that night after night.

“We had so much support from the public. One lady came and gave us all the money from her loose change jar, other people dropped in notes and local businesses donated £90 in total.”

In previous years, the Scout group collected money for the local food bank and the children’s ward in Craigavon Area Hospital.

Lord Mayor, Alderman Gareth Wilson said he was really impressed by the dedication and kindness shown by the Scouts and paid tribute to the leaders.