Beamish’s Paul Marron is sleeping rough on the 1900s Town street to raise money to help homeless and vulnerable people.
The Buildings Team Leader – Masonry is raising money for The People’s Kitchen and his latest challenge, which he started on Monday (12th), sees him sleeping outside for five nights in freezing temperatures with just a sleeping bag.
Paul, who has worked at the museum for five years, said: “During the Walking Home for Christmas challenge I did in 2014 I saw loads of homeless kids in South Shields and Newcastle, it was a real eye-opener.
“Homelessness was a problem back in the 1900s, why has nothing changed? Why is it still the same?”
Speaking before the challenge, Paul said: “It will be hard obviously because of the cold but at the end of the day I can go home. How kids get through it, not having a home to go to, is beyond me. And as it’s Christmas, it’s nice to give them a thought.
“Those kids will feel very vulnerable and lonely and they’ll think there’s no hope. I hope that what I’m doing can help even just one person sleep easier.”
Paul added: “I just want to show respect for those that have to live like that. It allows me to experience a fraction of what it’s really like for people on the streets and the suffering they endure.
“At the end of the day I’m safe, it’s a completely different mental ball game for them, the vulnerability is also a huge part of it. But there is hope because of organisations like The People’s Kitchen, they help a lot of people out by making sure all the money goes to them.
“Even a couple of quid helps. I don’t recommend everybody go out and sleep in the cold, if people sponsor me then they’ve done as much as I’ve done.”
The link to Paul’s JustGiving page is: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paulmarronsleepout. Paul was hoping to raise £500 by the 16th of this month, but has impressively managed to raise over £1,000 already.
The People’s Kitchen, founded in 1985, is a Newcastle-based charity that supports the city’s homeless community by providing vital things, such as hot meals and sleeping bags. The team of volunteers serve over 40,000 hot meals each year, giving up over 35,000 unpaid hours each year.
More importantly, The People’s Kitchen offers friendship and care for some of Newcastle’s most vulnerable people.
This is one of many challenges Paul has undertaken to help raise money for charities. For Christmas 2014, Paul walked 230 miles from Edinburgh to Wylam and raised £2,500 for Walking with the Wounded. He also climbed Denali in Alaska in 2008 for the Starlight Children’s Foundation and slept rough all December in 2010 for Macmillan Cancer Support.