A SCOUT group went homeless for a night and slept outside in cardboard boxes to raise funds for a local charity M3 Project.

The 22 Scouts, two Explorers and leaders from 38th Rossendale, Cloughfold, gave up normal camp comforts of a tent and sleeping bag - and instead opted to construct make-shift cardboard shelters and sleep in bin liners.

Thanks to online donations and support from parents, family and friends, they raised a terrific £1,786.25 for the charity, based in Rawtenstall, that works with homeless 16-21 year olds across East Lancashire.

Group Scout Leader Andrew Cooper said: “The idea came from Olly White, Seat Naze Explorer Leader, and two of the Explorers helped to set things up.

“We gave the Scouts soup and a hot drink in a flask and in the morning it was a bit like a soup kitchen, but we only served porridge. Even those who didn’t like porridge were grateful for it.

“One of our Scouts had only just joined the troop that week, but when we suggested the fundraiser she was the first to put her hand up for it.”

Scout Rory Aitken, 12, said: “It was really cold and I only wore two layers. It also started to rain and the cardboard went soggy. By the morning I was tired, grumpy and my back hurt.

“I was wet and cold but it made me realise how lucky we are to have a warm place to be, there are people who have to sleep outside and only have a sleeping bag.”

Olly had met M3 Project Charity Development Worker Lynn Haworth at a business meeting Valley at Work and came up with the sleepover project.

He said: “It was a good challenge for them, they were helping their community, they learnt skills for life and it made them realise that this is the real life for some people.”

Lynn said: “It just amazed everyone at M3 how much they had raised and we are so thankful for everything they have done for us. We are very appreciative to have young people helping young people.”

Scout Dorothea Davies said: “I was lucky, I got some sleep, and knew I had a warm bed to return to. Just imagine if every morning you woke up cold and hungry and had no idea where you might sleep

the next night.

“Homelessness can happen to anyone, in surprising ways, at any time of life.”

The M3 Project has just been awarded three years of grant funding by the Lloyds Bank Foundation to cover core running costs and development work.

The foundation partners with small, local charities who work with people dealing with complex social issues.

The next challenge for 38th Rossendale is to help Tesco’s FairShare Christmas project and they are also supporting the Red Box Project.

Next year Civic Pride Rossendale will be carrying out work on the Scout Hall grounds on Peel Street and Olly has secured trees from the Woodlands Trust.

To find out more about the M3 Project contact 01706 216600 or email Lynn on