We first heard about Cumbria Community Foundation’s Big Sleep last year and have been looking forward to spending a night under the stars in aid of such a good cause. It was also a great opportunity to support Gavin and Cheryl from Rather Be Cycling who had taken on the task of organising the event on the day.
The aim of the Big Sleep is to raise money for the Winter Warmth fund which is best described in the words of Cumbria Community Foundation:
Hundreds of older people in Cumbria are in danger of becoming or ill or even dying because of the cold. For the past two years we have run the Winter Warmth Appeal that has literally saved lives. An average of 300 deaths occur in Cumbria each year due to the effects of cold weather.
You give money to the Fund and we give it to older people who are in danger because they can’t afford to heat their homes. People who choose between eating or heating.
‘Big Sleepers’ raise money by spending a night sleeping under the stars, or at the very least under canvas, under the stars! They come from all walks of life and all ages – we were overwhelmed by the number of children who bravely took up the challenge, as well as the amount of hot chocolate, marshmallows and cream they managed to consume!
Our role at this year’s Big Sleep was to provide hot drinks for all the participants, which we tried to do in typical Carvetii style. No matter that we were based in a field, in the middle of the night, with temperatures dipping below freezing, our ‘Big Sleepers’ deserved the best we could offer. A menu of flat whites, lattes and cappuccinos seemed to hit the spot and as the evening wore on, hot chocolate proved a huge hit.
We tried to capture our experience of the Big Sleep in pictures:
The weekend was an amazing experience and it was a real priviledge to be in the company of so many inspiring volunteers. Maybe next year we’ll be brave enough to sleep under those stars!