The Society of St James - Big Sleep Out

    12 Sept. 2018
    Homelessness charity The Society of St James (SSJ) is hosting its annual Big Sleep Out on 19th October to raise awareness of the devastating impact homelessness has on people’s lives.

    This year the event will be held in Guildhall Square, Southampton and SSJ is aiming to encourage 150 people to take part to raise money to support the work of the charity and to give them just a little taste of how difficult it really is to have to sleep on the streets. Just one night outside, even in a safe area with staff and volunteers to hand throughout the night, is still tough for most people – imagine having to do this every night!

    SSJ believes that everyone has a right to a safe home and provided support and accommodation to around 2,500 people in 2017 who were experiencing homelessness. The number of people needing help is increasing, as more and more are becoming homeless. People rarely choose to be in this position but for many they simply don’t have the access to resources when they are experiencing difficulties that often lead to them losing their home.

    There is no single cause of homelessness – childhood trauma, poor education, mental health problems, learning disabilities and substance misuse are often cited by the people the charity helps. But SSJ also believes that government policy on the provision of welfare benefits and a huge lack of suitable accommodation are also contributory factors.

    As a child, Eddie lived with his alcohol dependent step-father and excessive drinking was a part of daily home life during his childhood. At the age of 27, his 20 year old sister died from cancer and to try to deal with his loss Eddie started to using crack cocaine. His use spiralled out of control and he started engaging in criminal activity to fund his habit, leading to a cycle of sofa surfing, drug abuse, offending and prison. Thanks to the support he has received from SSJ, Eddie, who is now 40, has a safe home and, through his engagement with SSJ’s Saints4Sports Project where he developed a love of education, he is due to start a diploma in Criminology later this year.

    SSJ knows that people can change their lives with the right support and investment and the Big Sleep Out is your chance to join SSJ in raising awareness of the increasing homelessness problem, and to support the charity to carry on helping people like Eddie to achieve positive change in their lives.

    The event will take place on 19th October 2018 and all those taking part will be entertained by some of Hampshire’s finest local bands (to be announced) before bedding down for the night in the Square.

    The event is being sponsored by Go! Southampton. Refreshments will be available.

    For further event information visit:
    To start fundraising for the event as an individual:
    To start fundraising for the event as a team:
    For corporate sponsorship opportunities contact: Michelle Jeffery,, 02380 717 296