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Hundreds turn out for Big Sleep

More than 300 people took part in the Big Sleep Photo: Gary McKeating

More than 300 people turned out for the annual Big Sleep on Saturday night, organised by Cumbria Community Foundation in aid of the Winter Warmth Fund.

Participants braced the cold and spent a night under the stars in conditions which plummeted to -6 to fundraise for older people who need support paying for their heating and fuel bills.

330 people took part in total, with just over 200 at Windermere and around 130 sleeping out in their gardens or at other locations like the Brownies at Wetheral.

Organisers are pleased with turnout.

“We couldn’t be happier with the number of people that turned out to support the Big Sleep.

Everyone enjoyed the evening and embraced the cold weather but importantly we'll be able to help lots of older, cold people as a result of the fundraising.

Thank you to everyone who took part or supported the participants.”

– Andrew Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation
Some of the 50+ 'Little Sleepers' that were out for the night Credit: Gary McKeating

Over 50 ‘Little Sleepers’, aged 6-16, were present for the nigh and the oldest participant was aged 71.

Volunteers were kept warm throughout the night with "Cowboy Stew", courtesy of English Lakes Hotels, and fresh coffee, ground and made by Carvetii Coffee

'Cowboy Stew ' was served throughout the night Credit: Gary McKeating

Participants were happy to take on the freezing temperatures for a worthy cause.

“We’re more than pleased to take part for the cause, we don’t mind getting cold for the night.”

– Irene Lancaster

The Big Sleep has so far raised more than £12,000 but organisers are expecting a lot more as all donations are collected.

The Winter Warmth Appeal has raised over £64,000 and has helped over 400 older people so far this winter.

With people still able to donate to the appeal, there is hope that last years total of £100,000 will be beaten.