Sussex Big Sleep Out
St John Ambulance’s first ever ‘Big Sleep
Out’ fund and awareness raiser is taking place in Brighton on the
evening of Friday 28 November. The event will mark 10 years of the
unique primary health services the organisation provides for
homeless people in Sussex.
A worsening problem
This year St John Ambulance’s Sussex Homeless
Services, covering Brighton and Hastings, will be needed more than
ever. With house repossessions up by 71% due to the recession
(source: FSA) record numbers
of people are likely to find themselves homeless and in need of
help with their health care just as winter bites.
I’ll be joining others to brave the cold in order to understand the plight of homeless people as well as help them by raising much needed money to keep this service going.
CEO of Sussex St John Ambulance
Braving the cold
Sussex St John Ambulance president Major Mark
Scrase-Dickins, Homeless Services Coordinator Lesley Heasman and
Chief Executive Tub Collins will be among a group of supporters
sponsored to sleep out for the night in Brighton’s Jubilee Square.
Huddled in sleeping bags, they will be highlighting the essential
work of the Sussex Homeless Services, which not only relieve
suffering but help save local NHS costs, as well as raising vital
Sussex homeless services
In 2007 alone over 2,000 people in Brighton
and Hastings were helped by St John Ambulance’s Sussex Homeless
Services with the kind of primary health care that most of us take
for granted, such as doctors and dentists.
Led by nurses, run by volunteers, and funded
entirely by donations, the team offers assessment and advice on
health issues, podiatry, on the spot prescriptions, support and
referral to specialist care, warm clothes and first aid. These
unique healthcare programmes operate from mobile units and clinics
within hostels and day centres. The team also gives specialist
training for organisations working with homeless and vulnerable
Without an address, health care services are
very difficult to access. Often, the only time a homeless person
sees a doctor is when an illness gets so bad a trip to A&E is
necessary. But both physical suffering and expensive medical
procedures could be avoided.
Tub Collins, Chief Executive Officer of Sussex
St John Ambulance said: ‘With winter upon us and house
repossessions rising, we think there will be even greater demand
for these services in the coming months. We need to prepare now in
terms of making people aware of the service and funding it.
‘I’ll be joining others to brave the cold in
order to understand the plight of homeless people as well as help
them by raising much needed money to keep this service going.’
Major Mark Scrase-Dickins, president of Sussex
St John Ambulance added: ‘In this, the tenth year of St John
Ambulance delivering primary health care for homeless people in
Sussex, donations are needed to ensure these indispensable services
The Big Sleep Out is hoping to raise £5,000
towards the cost of this winter’s services. You can donate online.