The Rec Sleep Out has been hailed a success after more than 120 braved the cold to spend the night at the home of Bath Rugby.

The Rec Sleep Out, which took place on Wednesday, November 7, aimed to raise awareness of youth homelessness and the vulnerabilities young people often face.

A total of 125 people, including first-team players Tom Dunn and Lucas Noguera, as well as members of the coaching team, signed up to spend an uncomfortable night on the cold, concrete floor of the Rec’s West Stand. The rain showed no sign of stopping, but it didn’t dampen spirits!

The idea of spending the night out in the November rain came about after Bath Rugby Foundation staff discussed ways to mark the charity’s 15th birthday (November 22). Holding a black-tie ball, or a fancy dinner did not feel right for a charity that works exclusively for vulnerable young people.

Bath Rugby Foundation works with more than 2,000 children and young people annually and staff are increasingly aware that more and more of the participants on the charity’s programmes do not have the security of a permanent home. Many young people find themselves sofa-surfing or moving between various types of temporary accommodation. Sadly, there are often times that young people arrive at the charity hungry.

With this in mind staff felt a Sleep Out was a suitable way to mark our 15th birthday.

“The Rec Sleep Out was a huge success as it allowed us to shine a light on a very real problem not only here in Bath, but in the rest of the UK, said Bath Rugby Foundation CEO, Lynne Fernquest.

“However, while we had warm food and were all wrapped up, we should all remember that many people will not be as lucky. Every hour of every day in the UK a teenager becomes homeless and we believe that’s unacceptable in 2018.

“The threat of youth homelessness is an issue we will continue to highlight at Bath Rugby Foundation.”

The Rec Sleep Out would not have been a success without the generous support of a host of local businesses and individuals – Recreation Ground Limited, Richard Bertinet, the Three Daggers, The Bird, Walcot House, Fidelius, Matt Powell and Boston Tea Party. Thank you also to South West Ambulance Service for being there, just in case.

As ever, Bath Rugby Foundation had the whole-hearted backing of everyone at Bath Rugby, from the first team, who also helped to serve everyone dinner on the night, as well as the coaches, and members of every department at the club.

The biggest thanks of all has to go to the individuals who agreed to sleep at the home of Bath Rugby to raise all important awareness of youth homelessness in the city – the fundraising has topped £15,000, with more sponsorship to come.

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