BLACKBURN-based homeless charity Nightsafe are aiming to make up for a loss of funding due to the coronavirus outbreak with a sponsored sleep in.

Nightsafe was left with a £100,000 shortfall after the lockdown forced the organisation to cancel most of its fundraising activities and put extra strains on its resources.

Now however, the charity hope that the sleep out event, scheduled for this Saturday, will help attract enough sponsorships to help plug the funding gap.

CEO Jan Larkin said: “The young people are the heart of everything we do here at Nightsafe - but if we don’t raise £100,000 this year it may mean we are not able to continue to offer these services to those who need it most.

“We are doing our best to reassure these young people that we are there to offer them support at this time of increased need – but we need the support of our community.”

The charity runs a sleep out event every year in which participants sample a night of sleeping outdoors in order to raise money and to gain a brief sample of the reality of life on the street.

This year, with a mass sleep out event impossible due to lockdown restrictions, Nightsafe is instead inviting those taking part to “sleep in.”

This can mean sleeping in a tent, on a sofa, in the bath or anywhere that is not the participant’s own bed.

They are invited to share pictures and videos of the challenge on social media using the hashtag #NightsafeHeroes in order to create a sense of shared experience without having to breach social distancing regulations.

The charity hopes that the money raised will allow their services to continuing functioning despite the challenges that the pandemic crisis has presented.

Ms Larkin said: “The need for our services in East Lancashire is great.

“Many of these young people have nowhere else to go and are in desperate need of financial support.”

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