Bedding down in the grounds of Chelmsford Cathedral on a cold, wet night is not something you would normally expect of a Council Chairman!
But last Friday night that’s exactly what Cllr Richard Bassett, Chairman of Epping Forest District did. He was taking part in a sponsored event, organised by Chess Homeless, a charity supporting homeless people in Essex, and was one of several civic leaders doing the same.
“Sleeping outdoors on a cold, damp winter’s night really focusses your attention on what some people face EVERY night. Charities like Chess Homeless bring immediate relief and a sense of hope to those who have no homes to go to. I found this a very humbling experience.” Cllr Bassett raised £300 in sponsorship.
Chess provides a nine bedroom night shelter along with shared move on accommodation. During the winter months it runs a Winter project providing rough sleepers with food, drinks, sleeping bags and a bed for the night, normally in a local church hall.
Every year it hosts a Sleep Out in the grounds of Chelmsford Cathedral to raise funds and last year netted more than £20,000.