Sleep Out

"It helped me understand what it must feel like to be homeless"


Thank you to all who braved the elements to participate in the Sleep Out 2023. It was another cold night, but a fantastic amount was raised to support the much needed work with the homeless.

More info, reactions and feedback to follow!

2022 Sleep Out: A Reflection

On Friday 2nd December, volunteers and staff (28 in total) slept outside for one night, on the West India Quay, towered over by the imposing buildings and bright lights of Canary Wharf.

It was a bitterly cold night, although we were thankful that the rain held off. Cardboard beds offered a minimal level of protection, although the wind sweeping over the quay was difficult to hide from.

We had gathered on St Peter’s Barge, a partner church of GrowTH, to make our cardboard beds, receive instructions for the night and encourage each other for what was to come. Fast forward to 9pm and the home cooked chilli was served outside, in cardboard containers.

Three previous guests of GrowTH bravely offered to come and share their real life experiences of being street homeless.  This was a time of humbling insight into the challenges of being homeless. It is so, so helpful to hear a different perspective, on an issue that confronts most of us every day. It is difficult to walk through London without seeing someone suffering from street homelessness.

One participant shared, “It was brilliant to hear stories from people who’ve accessed GrowTH…” with many others agreeing that their empathy towards those on the streets has increased.

A quiet but cold night ensued, with participants waking at all hours to enter the barge for a little respite, encouragement or cup of tea. For many, the 7.30am wake up call couldn’t come soon enough and the bacon baps were gratefully wolfed down.

It was time for reflections, and feedback. Here is a selection of the comments:

The real life experiences that were shared were incredibly powerful.
If it were for real, I'd be terrified!
The experience has enabled me to better empathise.
This morning, I am full of gratitude!