Game of Thrones star Joe Dempsie joined 100 people who braved the freezing temperatures and spent the night on cardboard to help raise £50,000 for DENS at the charity's annual Sponsored Sleepout.
On Friday, November 26, families, friends, colleagues and community groups from across Dacorum swapped their cosy beds for sleeping bags at The Hemel Hempstead School to support the homeless charity.
There was also a virtual broadcast so children and families to take part in their own home by sleeping anywhere other than their bed. A total of 73 participants joined in, including a strong turn out from local Scout groups.
Cubs and Scouts from 1st Apsley took part in the DENS sponsored sleepout, swapping their cosy beds for a sleeping bag and cardboard box to support people in Dacorum facing homelessness, poverty and social exclusion. The group raised well over £1500.
So far, the event has raised £50,000 to help rebuild the lives of local people facing homelessness, poverty and social exclusion.
The night started with a silent disco, before participants, wrapped up in thick layers, took on a frosty winter night under the stars with their sleeping bags and a cardboard box, courtesy of local removal company, JamVans.
Hot drinks provided by DENS Social Enterprise, the Coffee Project, helped to keep participants warm, and the Rapid Relief Team from Watford provided bacon rolls for participants in the morning.
Game of Thrones star and ambassador for DENS, Joe Dempsie, took part in the event for the second time.
He said: “I am always blown away by the passion of DENS’ supporters and the fantastic atmosphere they generate at events. The Sleepout is an important opportunity to make a difference helping those who are most vulnerable, while also gaining a small insight into the harsh reality rough sleepers have to face on a nightly basis.”
Dacorum Borough Councilor, Margaret Griffiths, who also took part, said: “This year’s Sleepout was, as always, a true reflection of the powerful community spirit on show throughout Dacorum, with people from all walks of life coming together to raise vital funds for such a worthy cause.”
The event was sponsored by Kings Langley-based semiconductor company, Imagination Technologies, who had staff taking part at Hemel School, plus a team in Romania watching the virtual broadcast.
Wendy Lewington, DENS CEO, said: “A huge thank you to everyone who took part in the Sleepout, and all our partners who were key in making the event happen.
"This night rounds off an incredible 2021 for DENS, where we returned to live fundraising events – a vital source of income as we continue to support local vulnerable people in taking the next positive steps in their lives.”
Donations can still be made towards the event by visiting www.justgiving.com/campaign/dens-sleepout-2021.