Hartlepool man to sleep rough to highlight plight of homeless

Derek Bilton

Derek Bilton

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A HARTLEPOOL man is set to sleep rough for a night in a bid to raise cash and awareness of the plight of homeless people.

Derek Bilton has got himself a cardboard box and plenty of warm clothes for the chilly charity challenge to sleep on the streets of Middlesbrough.

Derek Bilton

Derek Bilton

The 35-year-old, a substance misuse worker, and three of his colleagues are taking part in the fundraiser to rake in cash for the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.

And every penny will go towards helping people from all backgrounds who find themselves homeless and sleeping in shop doorways, on park benches, or with just the shelter of a building or wall.

Derek, from the Brooke Estate, in Hartlepool, said: “I wasn’t bothered at all until I read the five-day forecast and then I started flapping. It’s forecast for rain and the temperatures are looking pretty naughty.

“But it’ll soon pass and it’s all for a good cause to raise awarenes and a few quid for people who have to live like that day in, day out.”

Derek Bilton

Derek Bilton

Derek and his workmates will take part in the challenge around the area of Middlesbrough College, in Dock Street, starting from 7pm tonight – Friday, November 21 – until 7am tomorrow.

And the main rule is that he is not allowed to go indoors at all, no matter what the weather is like.

He added: “I’ve met homeless people through my work but thankfully no-one I know in my personal life is homeless. I’ve got myself a nice big cardboard box and I’ll be wearing loads of warm clothes.

“But I can’t have a pillow or anything.”

Derek Bilton

Derek Bilton

He added: “I’m sure I’ll be all right, it won’t be the first time I’ve been out all night until seven o’clock in the morning.”

Derek has already raised £160 on his secure fundraising page, which is well above his £100 target.

To help him raise more, log on to https://www.justgiving.com/Derek-Bilton/