From Sophie, Upper Sixth Form,
St Teresa Community

In June the St Teresa Community slept out at Downside for Help the Homeless, a local charity run by one of the School’s parents, Iona White.

The Community aims to promote the act of service in the School whilst raising awareness for charities that help those less fortunate then ourselves. Each year they sleep outside to raise awareness for homelessness.

This year’s sleep out took place later in the year than it normally would due to Covid regulations. The event usually happens in the midst of winter (in January), however this year it took place in June. Despite the initial relief that we weren’t going to be sleeping outside on a cold winter’s night, the English weather yet again proved that summer can still mean rain. The week building up to the sleep out was lovely and warm, yet the weather decided to take a turn and the heavens opened! This did not mean that we were defeated; instead we were able to truly immerse into what a night of the streets may be like for those less fortunate than ourselves. 

The sleep out gives us an opportunity to place ourselves in the position of those without a roof over their heads. Although we are not able to fully understand what it is like to be homeless, the sleep out allows us to gain a slight understanding and empathy for the millions of people who do not have a safe place to sleep. Each year we are lucky enough to welcome Iona White to the School. She brings hot, homemade food to the sleep out, which is what she does every Thursday in Bath for homeless people. It is a time for the St Teresa Community to come together and reflect on the role of Service in our wider community. We share Lectio together and discuss the importance of coming together as a Community. 

From Help the Homeless: ‘We provide vital support to the homeless on the streets, currently working in Bristol, Bath and Yeovil. With help from our network of volunteers we go onto the streets and distribute essentials including; bedding, tents, clothing, sanitary items and food to take away as well as hot food for immediate consumption.We couldn’t operate without the support and help from all those who donate their time, unwanted items or money. We are truly grateful for all those donations which allow our work to continue.’

It is an incredible event, and an experience that is hard to forget. It is great being together as a community and putting ourselves in a position that many people are in every night. We managed to raise £889! We thank Iona White and her amazing charity that helps such an important cause. We hope that the money we have raised will help her charity grow and develop, continuing to help those who need our help. 

From Conchi, Lower Sixth Form: Sleeping rough is dangerous and sadly just the tip of the iceberg. Being a member of the St Teresa Community has given me a chance to support this cause by taking part in a sleep out. Every penny we have raised has helped us make a difference to people facing homelessness and support the charity Help the Homeless. This experience has truly strengthened my sense of empathy, and encouraged me to take further action in combatting homelessness – a rapidly growing problem following the pandemic.’