Perse pupils sleep out for homelessness charity
More than 80 Year 9 pupils took part in a sponsored sleepout to help raise funds for Emmaus Cambridge.
They raised almost £5,000 for the local homelessness charity after bedding down for the night around the Upper site.
The pupils were visited by an Emmaus staff member and four companions – formerly homeless people who have been supported by the charity – who outlined the work of the charity and shared their experiences of living on the streets.
They also took part in a game where they had to earn enough ‘money’ to buy cardboard to sleep on by doing different tasks, such as busking or washing dishes, while a group of more than 20 Sixth Form students played the roles of the police and general public.
Among the pupils taking part in the sleepout was Marina Mead, who was pleased so much money was raised for Emmaus.
She said: “I wanted to take part because it was supporting a really good cause. It’s also one thing donating money, but it’s another putting yourself in someone else’s shoes by doing something like this.
“I camped with some of my friends under the cover in front of the North Building, but it was quite cold and we didn’t really get much sleep either.
“I know it wasn’t like actually sleeping on the streets, but the experience really made me empathise with homeless people and realise how they have to live.”
Alongside the sleepout, a minibus was filled with generous donations of pre-loved goods, such as books, CDs, DVDs and clothes, from the Perse community to be sold by Emmaus in their second-hand shop, thanks to a collection organised by the Middle Schools Charities Committee.