Katie Bulmer-Cooke: Help homeless Sunderland people get back on their feet

Can you help the homeless?
Can you help the homeless?

I always love to hear stories of people giving their time, effort and energy to helping others and taking part in charitable events, so last week when I spotted the incredible efforts of three people at The Stadium of Light, I knew it was a must-mention in this week’s column.

If you’re a regular reader of my column you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of the work that Centrepoint do, right here in Sunderland and surrounding areas within the North East, so I’m always keeping an eye on their fundraising activities on social media.

When I took part in last year’s Sleep Out I thought that was a challenge, but their latest fundraiser has taken things to new heights, quite literally!

Fundraisers Phoebe Smith, Ollie Laker and John Pike spent 10 nights sleeping in tents, suspended from some iconic landmarks across the country.

One of those nights was spent hanging from the roof of our glorious football stadium.

This immense challenge has not just shown dedication in terms of time and being way outside of their comfort zone but it is also truly original and very daring (I’m not sure me and my fear of heights could have managed 10 minutes, never mind 10 nights).

The trio set out to raise £20,000 for Centrepoint, and when I checked in on their Just Giving page last week they were at almost £5,000, which is a very respectable number, but I’m sure more people can get behind them and help them hit their target … so go and check them out by searching Extreme Sleep Out online.

There are so many wonderful charity events across the city and the region, all raising money for very worthy causes and for those who take part it can be hard to get people to sponsor you.

Increasingly it seems that fundraisers have to become more inventive, more daring and willing to be more extreme in order to make their cause stand out… and this certainly fits the bill.

One of the main reasons I was drawn to raising money for Centrepoint, was that all of the money raised in Sunderland, goes back into Sunderland.

Sunderland will surely be set to benefit from this fantastic effort, so it’s well worth digging deep to help young homeless people in our city get back on their feet with education, work and a warm, safe place that they can call home. While being suspended in the air may be a little extreme for many of us, you can still get involved in helping Centrepoint by taking part in this year’s Sleep Out, which takes place on Thursday, November 15.

I’m already signed up and have my sleeping bag ready to go, and it would be great to see as many Mackems there as possible.