Two members of The Mall Blackburn’s Ask Me Point team have presented local charity Nightsafe with a cheque for over £220.

Ask Me Point Supervisor, Jason Cothliff, and his colleague Carley McKenna, joined fundraisers from across the county to sleep on King William Street, outside The Mall in December and have been busy collecting sponsorship money.

Blackburn based Nightsafe was formed in 1990 and since then it has helped more than 12,500 young people, provided over 35,000 nights off the streets and made in excess of 125,000 meals with a dedicated army of 650 volunteers.

Jason and Carley, who had never taken part in an event like this before, arrived with just a cardboard box, sleeping bag and warm clothing to protect them on the cold December night.

The event started at 9pm and finished at 6am, when a hot breakfast was served in Nightsafe’s Platform 5 Day-Centre.

Speaking about the event, Jason said: “I really wanted to get involved with the Nightsafe Sleepout as they do such a fantastic job supporting young homeless people.

“At a time when everyone else is rushing around buying gifts and food for Christmas I wanted to take some time out to give something back to the community.

“The event was really well organised, but spending the night on the street was horrendous. It really does make you think about those that do it every night, and it is heartbreaking.”

Carley added: “When I agreed to sign up to the sleepout it was still quite mild outside….but as the temperature dropped my nerves increased!

“The few basic supplies we had were more than most homeless people could hope for. I remember thinking in the morning what if I had to do it all again tonight….and that is when it really hit home just how awful it must be.”

Loraine Jones, General Manager at The Mall Blackburn, added: “A huge well done to Jason and Carley for volunteering to support Nightsafe, which really does a fantastic job in helping vulnerable young people in Blackburn.

“They raised an incredible amount and earned every single penny of it.”

Jan Larkin, CEO of Nightsafe, which helps young people aged between 16 and 24 through its Day Centre, Night Shelter and supported housing projects, said: “Our Sleepout was once again a huge success with people from across the county joining us on a chilly December night.

“I would like to thank Jason and Carley for their support and the wonderful donation.”


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