Homeless tourism

Just so you know: this page was imported from my old blog. Some pages were rather mangled in the process; my apologies if things don't quite look right.

I've just come back from Ravelin Park, where SADO Ben Norman and RAG bods Jenny Leggott and Sarah Blatchford have been bedding down for the night with only cardboard, damp sleeping bags and tarpaulins (err, and each other...) for warmth.

No, they're not trying to recreate a summer picnic atmosphere - not at this time of year, anyway. The event is the University-organised "Sleepout", which has been planned to raise awareness for the homeless population of Portsmouth.

There were around 25 bods milling around when I left, including three Purple Door staff (one of which is Alice Hickman, the University's Volunteer and Work Experience Officer and Ben Norman's oppo, who I may have met before...), two security guards, and a full tea urn.

It looks like the choice spot for the night will be under a pair of large tarpaulins which have been erected between two trees in a loose-but-functional impersonation of a giant tent. The area surrounding the shelter was intertwined with the string holding the shelter up, leaving the whole area slightly resembling a giant spider's lair... Ewww, spiders...

Hopefully everyone will have a fun - if chilly - night and get some sleep into the bargain. This kind of event is good (as long as it serves its purpose to raise awareness for the homeless, naturally) and it would be great to see the University collaborating with the Union more often to publicise such events. Pugwash News is always available to help, of course.

Ms Blatchford has my camera at the moment, so once it's back I'll get some photos online. In the meantime, look out for pics and even (possibly) some footage on BBC South Today and in the Times Higher Education supplement - when the Uni want to promote something, they don't 'arf go for it... :o)

Find out more on the University's website.

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