NEARLY 30 people slept rough on a cold and wet night in York as a charity which tackles youth homelessness in the region held its annual sleepout.

Organised by SASH, the event saw individuals and teams sponsored to spend the night out in the open on Friday, with just a sleeping bag and cardboard to shelter them from the elements.

In total, 27 people slept outside in the grounds of Tang Hall Community Centre.

The sleepout aims to raise awareness of homelessness and funds for SASH, which works to prevent homelessness among young people, aged 16 to 25, in York, North Yorkshire and East Yorkshire.

Altogether, the event is expected to have raised about £6,000 for SASH.

Ruth Fawcett, SASH’s business development manager, said: “It went well even though it was really wet. It rained all night.

“A big thanks to the people who took part, they did amazingly.”

She added: “I think they enjoyed it, they knew they were doing it for a good cause. It wasn’t an easy night as they got quite wet.

“It gave them a taste of rough sleeping and an idea of what it’s like.”

Among those who took part were staff from York Residential Landlords Association and developers The Helmsley Group

Ruth said fewer people signed up for the event than in previous years, which she thinks may be down to the recent snow putting some people off.

Volunteers helped marshal the event and made sure the participants were all fine. Those involved enjoyed a den building competition on the night.

Ruth said the funds raised would help the charity provide about 324 nights of emergency accommodation in the homes of volunteers. This is the fifth year that SASH has held the sleepout in York.