More than 100 people slept out under the stars and in the rain at Chichester Cathedral to raise awareness of a homeless charity.
The hardy fundraisers slept in cardboard shelters, or on the flagstones of the cloisters in the Big Sleepout 2011 in aid of the Stonepillow charity.
It is hoped thousands of pounds will have been raised from the event which will go towards the charity’s numerous projects, include running the St Joseph’s night shelter in Hunston and the day centre at the Old Glassworks in Chichester.
Chichester District Councillor for Chichester West, and chairman of the trustees of Stonepillow, Clare Apel, raised £500 for the charity by taking part.
“It’s an absolute killer on the back,” she said. “You get up in the morning and think at least you can go home and have a bath, but if you’re homeless, it’s the same night after night.
“It’s very good at focusing the mind and it’s also a very good community effort, although we had the extra hour in bed, which was a bit mean.
“I think Stonepillow does a fantastic job, I feel very proud to be involved with it.
“Organising a sleep-out like that does focus the mind and attitudes of what it is like to be homeless.
“Who knows what might happen to all of us? It is very easy to be judgemental.”
City centre manager Kim Long took part for the first time and admitted she was surprised by everything the charity takes on.
“I didn’t get a lot of sleep,” she said. “It was an experience.
“I was surprised at how noisy the city is until 2am, and then it started to rain at 3am.
“I have got to give it to Stonepillow, the organisation was fantastic.”
Community fundraiser at Stonepillow Dawn Ingram said: “It was really positive, everybody who came really enjoyed themselves.
“We just hope it did help to raise the profile of Stonepillow, and open us to more supporters.
“We did have a lot of new people come along this year. Although it did rain, it made people think about it more.”
She said she would like to thank all the volunteers for their hard work, and for the support of all the companies who helped out.
For more information about Stonepillow, visit www.stonepillow.org.uk, call 01243 537934, or email email@example.com