TWO Morpeth high school pupils braved the cold to sleep rough for a night so they could help local people in need this Christmas.
After discussing homelessness as part of a youth centre session, Chloe MacDonald and Sally Allan decided to do some fund-raising to put together some food bags for the Wansbeck Valley Food Bank.
The King Edward VI School students ran a cake stall at break and lunch times at the school and they had a stall selling biscuits and ran a ‘name the gingerbread house’ competition at the Misteltoe Fair.
They also slept out on the streets of Morpeth to experience being homeless, eventually settling for a spot under a car park.
Sally, who is in Year 11, said: “We were keen to give it a go to raise awareness and add more money to our total through sponsorship.
“We managed to get some cardboard that had been thrown out at the back of some shops to sleep on and we found out for ourselves how bad things can be for people who are homeless.
Year 10 student Chloe said: “I thought I wasn’t going to go to sleep at all, but I did manage to get a little when I got used to our spot.
“In this project, we learned how these people have to scrape for food and money and the circumstances in which they become homeless.”
The girls raised £307 in total and they recently dropped off the bags to the food bank at its Morpeth headquarters (the New Life Christian Centre).
They were joined on the streets for the night by youth centre workers Bev Common and Hayley Brown, who said: “The girls were brilliant. Even though it was very cold that night and we had the youth centre as a back-up, they didn’t complain once.”
Meanwhile, community groups including Morpeth Soroptimists and Morpeth Rotary Club have put together some festive food hampers for the residents of Barnabas Safe and Sound’s young homeless project in Morpeth.