STUDENTS from Monmouth Comprehensive were among those joining a 24-hour sleep out at Monnow Bridge last week to raise funds and awareness.

The Three-day event, ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ aimed to turn the spotlight on ‘hidden homelessness, and economic and social poverty’, organised by the Churches in Monmouth Housing Group and Reach Out.

The High Sheriff of Gwent, Professor Simon Gibson, made a surprise presentation to MCS student Nellie Penny and Gill Waters, one of the organisers of the event.

Kicking off with a song
(Des Pugh)

He thanked everyone for supporting the initiative that was endorsed by the Prince of Wales, Prince William who has launched a charity called ‘Homewards’ with the intention to end homelessness in five years, “an incredibly ambitious goal”.

“The only way that goal will be achieved is by a lot of people doing a little.” he added.

“I know if the Prince were here, he would thank you all individually for raising awareness of this important issue.”

Town councillor Martin Sweeney said that it was a genuinely inspirational and positive evening, sprearheaded by Gill.

“The motivation was to campaign and raise awareness on the fragmented nature of service provision for some of the most vulnerable and hard to reach members of our community, as well as raising awareness of the basic needs that aren’t met for so many of our neighbours.

“I’m personally humbled to see the enormous volunteer effort that went in to bringing this all together and am particularly impressed by the commitment of the community members who joined the sleep out, including numerous students, retired neighbours and committed volunteers.

“It was great to see support shown by local representatives of all parties and none, really highlighting the importance of pulling together as a town and county, regardless of any particular beliefs or politics.”