Fight homelessness in your sleep – join the Big Marlow Sleepout 2019! The Big Marlow Sleepout 2019 in support of Wycombe Homeless Connection will take place on Friday 22nd November in the churchyard of All Saints Church, Marlow. Registration is now open! The Big Marlow Sleepout is a sponsored event to raise a worthwhile sum to support Wycombe Homeless Connection’s vital work. We help people experiencing or faced with homelessness, particularly those who do not qualify for council temporary accommodation. In the last year, over 500 individuals have come to WHC for help. Want to help? Register now to sleep out! Follow the sleepout on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #WHCsleepout2019. Include this in your social media posts! Details of the Big Marlow Sleepout Children over 12 may take part as well as adults (12-15 year-olds must be accompanied by a responsible adult; 16 and 17 year-olds require parental permission). The sleeping area is fully outdoors, so bring a sleeping bag and warm clothing and maybe a foam under-mat. In addition, you will need to bring your own cardboard (or other insulation), groundsheet and waterproof covering in case of rain. In case of extreme weather, we will have access to the church. The event will begin at 7pm on Friday evening and the site must be cleared by 7am on Saturday. The area will be fenced off and stewards will be on duty overnight. There will be access to toilets and hot drinks throughout the night. Breakfast items will be available in the morning. If you have particular dietary requirements, please bring your own snacks. Click here to register for the Marlow event (opens in a new window). After registering, please return to this window to learn how to collect sponsorship below or to re-enter the registration form – note: there must be a separate registration for each individual. After registering, be sure to return here to find out how to set up your online sponsorship page. Collecting sponsorship for the Big Marlow Sleepout 2019 Wycombe Homeless Connection has set up an “event” on the Virgin Money Giving (VMG) website. Using the VMG site to collect donations saves work since it takes the donation immediately, avoids cash handling, reclaims Gift Aid where appropriate and transmits the proceeds directly to Wycombe Homeless Connection. As a non-profit organisation, VMG makes a small charge to cover all this, but using VMG is well worth it for the hassle it saves our treasurer! You should set up your own “sponsor me” page on Virgin Money Giving in respect of this event. Then you can make your contacts aware of this page by email or social media. To set up an individual page, click here to go to the VMG home page (this opens a new window). At the top of the page (or in the menu), click “Fundraisers” then “Create a page”. It will ask you to set up a VMG account if you don’t already have one. Then it will ask “What are you doing?” – enter “Marlow Sleepout” then click on “The Big Marlow Sleepout 2019”. Answer “no” to the question “Have any of your selected charities contributed to the cost of your event?” and click “Create my page”. If you have any trouble, you can call Mark Dykes on 07801 179387. It’s not necessary, but you can add photos or videos to your page. Set a realistic but worthwhile target. And then keep an eye on your sponsorship: once your total reaches your target, raise the target; the average donation is halved once a target is reached. We hope you’ll manage to raise a worthwhile amount: in previous years, most people have raised between £30 and £1100. So tell the world! Using your social media will increase the amount raised; LinkedIn and Instagram are particularly effective. The VMG site itself may offer help. You can give your supporters a link to your VMG page or when your contacts visit Virgin Money Giving, they will be able to search for it using your name. Finally, note that people who start fundraising 2-3 months before the event make 40% more than those who start within 6 weeks of the event. To reach those not online, a printable sponsorship form can be downloaded by clicking here (opens in a new window). If you use a paper sponsorship form, you can read how we will use your personal details here (opens in a new window). Wycombe Homeless Connection helps over 500 local people every year who face housing crisis, by offering a weekday advice, support and resettlement service, fortnightly sessions offering legal advice on challenging unfair evictions, and also a January-March winter night shelter. All this costs about £300,000 each year, 95% of which comes from voluntary donations. Last year 94% of the charity’s expenditure went on providing services, so every contribution is put to good use. The numbers approaching us for help are at an all-time high. Please help us fight back! Make a difference – support the Big Marlow Sleepout! For further information, contact [email protected].