Sleeping out was not easy

A Bedford councillor joined in an overnight sleepout, to raise awareness of rough sleeping in the town.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 13th March 2016, 7:00 am
Councillor Anthony Forth at the YMCA SleepEasy
Councillor Anthony Forth at the YMCA SleepEasy

Councillor Anthony Forth and his wife, Hazera, both took part in the YMCA SleepEasy on Friday, February 26.

The event, which takes place every two years, aims to highlight the plight of those sleeping rough, as well as raise much-needed funds for services at YMCA Bedfordshire.

The space for this year’s SleepEasy camp was donated by Viking Self Storage in Elms Park Industrial Estate, in Councillor Forth’s Goldington ward.

Mr Forth, aged 40, has so far raised £525 by sleeping outside from 7pm to 7amin temperatures of around 2°C.

He told the Advertiser: “I really hadn’t realised how unpleasant it would be.

“Sleeping, or trying to, on hard asphalt is extremely uncomfortable. After dozing off for three hours the entire side of my body hurt and it was impossible to be comfortable for the rest of the night. Despite warm clothes, the cold eats at you as the night goes on.

“Of course, at the end of the night, I had a warm home to go back to so I only got a small taste of how desperate homelessness is. Never let anyone tell you that people choose to end up in that situation.”