Homelessness support charity Framework is bringing back its annual ‘Big Sleep Out’ fundraiser after last year’s event was cancelled due to concerns about protests.
Fears about a demonstration by activists led the group to call off the event in November 2016, which was due to be held at it’s usual venue of Sneinton Market.
Now around 300 people are expected to head to the new location of the Forest Recreation Ground on November 18 to spend a night without their usual comforts.
The event is designed to give people a snapshot of what it is like to be homeless, while raising money in sponsorship.
Events and Local Fundraising Officer for Framework Nottingham, Abigail Mayfield, said: “It’s brilliant that we can bring back the Big Sleep Out because more than ever we need to raise awareness about homelessness.
“We’re not expecting anything like [last year] on the horizon. We have had a couple of sleep outs since then and we’ve had no trouble”.
The return of the fundraiser is also welcome news to supporters. Jo Lamontagne has taken part in the sleep out as part of a team that The Nottingham Building Society, which is sponsoring the sleep out, send each year.
“I’ve only done the one and I can only do the one, its such a challenge. At three in the morning, I honestly thought ‘I can’t do this anymore’,” she said.
“It brings it all home what we do as a business – homes are important for everyone in the community.”
“When I look at someone on the street now it breaks my heart because I remember the fact I did it for one night and it was harrowing.”
Extra measures are being planned for this year’s event.
“Just to put people at ease, we will have security on site and we are in a new secure location,” Abigail added.
The Big Sleep Out will be held on Saturday, November 18 at The Forest Sports Zone, the Forest Recreation Ground.
Framework called off the event last November saying it believed the groups Fightback Nottingham and Opgroundzer0 planned to ‘disrupt’ the event.
At the time the groups denied they were planning to do anything to actively disturb the Sleep Out, saying they had planned their own ‘peaceful event’.