Last Friday evening I took time out to lend my support and take some photographs for HARP Southend – Southend’s Homeless Action Resource Project – at their Cardboard Box Challenge held at Westcliff High School for Boys. It was a very wet evening but 40 or so hardy people stepped up to the challenge and spent a damp night under the stars raising money and awareness for HARP and the great work they do for homeless people in Southend.
On October 10th, World Homeless Day, HARP held their first Cardboard Box Challenge – a twelve hour sleep out at Southend High School for Boys in Southend. The challenge was to survive, under the stars, from 8pm on Friday to 8am the following morning using cardboard boxes as your means of shelter!
The event was a great success with 40 people sleeping rough for the night on the playground floor with nothing but cardboard and a sleeping bag between them and the elements. It gave the participants an idea of what difficulties the homeless face for real every day.
Although designed to test endurance, the event was still fun. Local dance group Methods of Movement put on a display for us, along with comedian Ewan Boissinot, singer Nic Collis and local band Southend Central. HARP staff and volunteers manned a BBQ and refreshment stall to keep the rough sleepers going using donated food from local shops and stores.
The amount raised so far is over the £4000 mark, with more sponsorship money still coming in. Our target is £5000.
I was there from the start until around 11 when the entertainment stopped and the participants took to their overnight accommodation. HARP had laid on some entertainment which was great plus a BBQ was cooking hot food and even the deputy Mayor dropped by to lend his support. Methods of Movement did a great exhibition of their dance moves. After comedian Ewan Boissinot told some jokes singer Nic Collis and local band Southend Central entertained us with music both together and individually.
It was a fun evening and great to meet the HARP people and the people who were taking part. HARP do great work for homeless people in Southend and should be applauded supported and congratulated. It was great to be able to lend a hand at their event.
I have uploaded all the photographs I took to my google photos site and you can find them here. Below I have included versions of my photos that were added by HARP to their Facebook page with their branding which look rather good.