Two friends who met at the University of Sussex are uniting to raise money for charity by sleeping rough in Brighton.
Karen Marshall and Alison Holt, who met as undergraduates in 2000 when they shared the same halls of residence, are taking part in the YMCA Sleep Easy fundraiser on Friday (March 16) at Brighton Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College.
The pair became friends on their first day at Sussex University, where Karen now works as a research fellow.
Karen said: “Nobody should be sleeping rough but especially not in a country and in a city that has so much wealth. We are going to be well looked after by the Sleep Easy organisers and we will have access to basic facilities like hot food and toilets which are a luxury to people who have to go through this every night.
“Learning more about these great charities as we prepare for the fundraiser has inspired us both to want to do more and I think that will only grow once we’ve actually gone through with it and experienced to some degree what homeless people have to endure.”
Sleep Easy events are taking place in Brighton and Hove, Guildford and Horsham, with more than 160 people sleeping rough to raise money for YMCA DownsLink Group, a charity working with young people in Sussex and Surrey and Galvanise Brighton & Hove, a community-led campaign to end homelessness.
Alison, an NHS clinical psychologist, volunteers with Galvanise Brighton and Hove and suggested taking part in the event.
“It is great to be taking part in Sleep Easy and raise money for these local charities, and I am delighted Karen agreed to come along with me," she said.
Chas Walker, CEO of YMCA DownsLink Group, said: “We’re so happy to have Karen and Alison joining us for a night sleeping under the stars, the aim of which is to raise money and awareness for homeless and vulnerable people.
“We have been overwhelmed by the support this year, with over 100 people now signed up in Brighton and Hove, and almost £25,000 raised across Brighton and Hove, Horsham and Guildford so far.”
For more on the Sleep Out event, click here.