Why I nearly froze to death to raise money

I love camping! I have camped in sun, rain, wind and snow. But I had never slept on the streets of Newark before! So when I heard about the opportunity to do a sponsored event in aid of the work of New Life Children’s Centre in Gambia, I jumped at the chance. It was the end of February, but how hard can it be? ☺

Together with a small bunch of others we set up camp outside a church in the centre of Newark, with our cardboard boxes and sleeping bags.

It was the worst night to choose. It was absolutely freezing! Although we spent most of the night trying to keep ourselves warm, we did manage to play a few games and have a bit of fun. We had many people spot us in the street and investigate to see what we were doing. Sneakily the gospel was also spread through our ‘camp-out’.

Generously, many people supported us by giving us supplies through out the night; including pizza and chips! The hours flew by and I was the only one who managed to get any sleep! A whole 4 hours meant that I was still well rested.

But we made it! And even better we raised about £2200 in total, which was amazing to know that this would go towards buying mattresses for those in desperate need in Gambia.

The sleep out was an amazing opportunity to try something strange and meet new people from other churches locally as well as knowing that all the money raised would go to a great cause.

Since we slept out, I have been out to The Gambia with a team in October, and it was a great opportunity to experience the conditions and needs of the children and their families, as well as the fantastic work that New Life Children’s Centre is doing to help them. It has opened my eyes and made the small hardship I went through on the streets of Newark seem insignificant.

Josiah Homfray-Cooper

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