On Friday 15th September 2023 a group of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, and a young leader from the 12th Lewisham North Scout Group spent a night sleeping under the stars in a local school playground to raise money for Crisis the Homeless charity.

They arrived at 8.30 pm with their cardboard and sleeping bags ready for the night ahead and stayed out all night despite the darkness, luckily the weather was good to us only getting down to 14 degrees and no rain. Although the parents were not coming until 8 am to collect they were all awake at 4.45 am so just as well some of our Young People had written to the nearest neighbors apologising for any noise in advance!

It gave us a good chance to talk about Homelessness, why people are on the streets, how hard it can be and the abuse people can receive just for being on the streets. It also gave some of us time to reflect when under the stars and all was quiet which we do not often do in our busy daily lives.

Our group members had asked us to do this just before COVID-19, so had to postpone but finally, we managed to organise. So far we have raised £1,541 which is fantastic and the Group Volunteers are all extremely proud of them for their efforts. The young people continue to ask how much we have received.

We have to thank the headteacher and facilities team at St Matthew Academy for their help and support in this venture.

We found our members really thought about what it means and wholeheartedly put themselves in another person’s shoes. They were surprised at how wet their sleeping bags got even on a really warm night and we got asked if we can do it again!

12th Lewisham North Volunteers

Why did you do it?

To show what it’s like for homeless people.

Juliette (Cub Scout)

What did you enjoy about this experience?

Being with friends doing something for a good cause together.

Teddy (Cub Scout)

What did you learn from it/ why was it important?

It made me think about how lots of people have to sleep like this – it wasn’t even raining for our sleep out but lots of people have to do this in all weather.

Paddy (Cub Scout)