We are always up for a challenge so when we heard that Cumbria Community Foundation were organising ‘The Big Sleep’ on Saturday 15 February 2014, to raise funds for their Winter Warmth Appeal, we decided to join in. The challenge involved spending the night sleeping outdoors near Low Wood Hotel overlooking Lake Windermere, with nothing but a sleeping bag to keep warm.
I arrived late afternoon and registered for the event. Others, who had arrived earlier in the day were enjoying the hot soup that was being provided. The idea was that you should sleep in the open air but as a precautionary measure, you were allowed to pitch a tent, so having got our base it was good to then wander around the site and spend time with other volunteers. During the night the inevitable rain did appear and we were glad to be able to take shelter but the cold weather we experienced certainly highlighted the reason we all took part.
Around 300 elderly people in Cumbria die each year due to cold weather, having faced the tough choice between heating and eating. Funds raised by The Big Sleep, will benefit older people in poor health who are also affected by rising fuel costs. With a target of £100,000 and over 160 people taking part, I hope our team effort will have contributed to this very worthy cause.