A Student Support Worker gave up his bed to sleep rough on the streets of Leeds for a night to raise money for charity.
Ricky Johnson, who works in Foundation Learning at Kirklees College, took part in the Sleep with Simon event and raised £150 for the Simon on the Streets homeless charity.
The event aims to give an insight into the root causes of homelessness and how the charity aims to help.
It is an opportunity to learn about the real challenges that face rough sleepers on a daily basis and to understand exactly how and why they exist.
As well as facing the challenge of a night out in the open, it gives participants an understanding about the issues that the homeless face and a deeper sense of empathy for those who live that experience every day.
Ricky said: “I started reading about Simon on the Streets a couple of years ago and always wanted to try the sleep-out but never had the courage. This year however I thought long and hard and decided to go for it.
“The night itself was awful, just a little taster of sleeping rough. It was freezing during the early hours and it certainly makes you appreciate your lovely bed and mattress at home!”
Here is Ricky’s diary from the night:
6.45pm – Arrived at Royal Armouries, Leeds, and registered. Found a place to set up my sleeping bag.
8pm – Welcome address from Simon on the Streets chairman.
8.30pm – Went to watch The Shed Crew – a Red Ladder theatre production performed in a warehouse.
10.30pm – Arrived back at my pitch and bedded down… very uncomfortable!
2am – Woke up frozen to the bone. Put big coat on.
2.30am – Guy next to me (Malcolm) started snoring LOL.
3am – Got up to stretch legs… toilet trip… try to sleep again.
5am – After a couple of hours fidgeting and patchy sleep I decided to give up trying.
6am – Breakfast served.
6.30am – Event over. Drive home.