Why Sleepout?

Why Sleepout?

The aim of the St Albans Sleepout is to raise awareness of homelessness in Hertfordshire, to come together as a community for the community.


Started by the Abbey and Diocese in the 1990s, the sleepout has raised hundreds of thousands for Hertfordshire homeless charities, and this year is no exception.  Five local charities, Centre 33, Emmaus, Herts Young Homeless (hyh), Open Door and The Living Room, will benefit from the sponsorship you raise.


With your help, we can make the sleepout on Friday 8th November 2024 a huge success and make a real difference to vulnerable people across Hertfordshire this winter.


So come and join us for a fun filled evening of music, entertainment, workshops, and a bit of a reality check, to see what life is like for some of our service users. This will be the most memorable thing you will do this winter!



Will you brave a night in the cold?

We will.

See you there!

Who can take part?

From youth groups, to local businesses to groups of families and friends, we welcome everyone to come and join us by braving a night in the cold!


Age Requirements


Participants in the Sleepout must be either over 18yrs old, or if under 18yrs the following will apply:-


Children must be over the age of 6yrs to take part. Those under 11yrs may participate in the Sleepout only if accompanied by their parent / legal guardian.


Young people 7yrs and over with organisations such as scouts, schools or faith-groups, youth groups must be accompanied by a minimum of two adult leaders over 21 yrs who are DBS checked for a maximum of 16 young people. For mixed gender groups there should preferably be one leader of each gender. Group Leaders are fully responsible at all times for the care of their young people and must bring completed documentation listing the names of the young people for whom they are responsible and giving parental and medical consent.  For Groups of more than 16 young people, an extra leader will be required on the basis of one for up to each 8 extra young people.


Young people 11yrs and over may attend as part of an un-affiliated group where, for example, parents may agree to supervise neighbours or relatives’ young people as well as their own. In such cases, no DBS registration is required for such group leaders, but an adult within the group must nominate themselves as lead and make themselves known upon registration. All other rules in the paragraph above will apply.


A limited number of young people under 18 not in an official group may be able to Sleepout without adult supervision, but will be under the care of two DBS checked and trained staff members from Herts Young Homeless, who will make themselves known prior to the event. They will check in with these young people throughout the night.


Medical Conditions


Please follow all current COVID 19 laws and guidelines and we ask that you do not attend if you test positive or display any symptoms.

Ensure you are fit and healthy to take part, medical insurance does not include cover in the event of illness if participants are attending the sleepout contrary to medical advice and are not in good health.


Please note, alcohol is strictly prohibited at the Sleepout. The following are also not allowed:


  • Tents
  • Dogs or pets, except for assistance dogs
  • Outside music, out of respect for fellow participants
St Albans Sleepout



Centre 33

Centre 33 is a charity and volunteer run drop-in centre which provides practical support for people in the St Albans area who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or otherwise socially or materially disadvantaged. Centre 33 provides a welcoming place to meet, hot food and drinks, toiletries, shower facilities and essential clothing as well as advice on other services visitors may be able to access for further help.
In 2018 there were around 8,700 visits to the centre by about 300 individuals, the largest number of meals they have ever served in a year. 


The Centre is a recipient of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award given to volunteer groups in the UK.

Charity Number: 1146438

Click here to register your interest with Centre 33


Emmaus Hertfordshire doesn’t just give people a bed for the night; they offer a home for as long as someone needs it, meaningful work, and a sense of belonging. For many people who have experienced homelessness, losing their self-esteem can be the most damaging part of the experience. Being alone, with no support around you can be soul destroying, leaving you feeling worthless. Emmaus gives their residents (known as ‘companions’) the opportunity to be part of a community, to take stock of their lives, deal with any issues they might have, regain their sense of purpose and often re-establish relationships with loved ones.


Their community in St Albans is home to up to 39 companions, who together, run our social enterprises that help fund our work. Every month they rescue more than 35 tonnes of unwanted household goods and resell it in one of their 4 shops across the county. Some is restored and given a new life, teaching companions woodworking and upcycling skills.


Independent research using the Social Return on Investment methodology found that for every £1 invested in an Emmaus community there is an £11 social, economic and environmental return on investment.

Charity Number: 1073808

Click here to register your interest with Emmaus

Herts Young Homeless

A roof over our heads, the support of a loving family and somewhere safe to come home to are all things most of us take for granted, but what if this isn’t the case? Where would you turn? That’s where we come in.


Every day young people in our community are homeless. Some of them are street homeless; the vast majority are ‘hidden homeless’. They might be sofa surfing, moving around from place to place, living in temporary accommodation such as a hostel, bed and breakfast or unsafe places such as cars or squats. Our mission is to support them into a secure situation and ensure that they do not return to the desperation of an uncertain future.


We believe the first stage in preventing youth homelessness is to equip young people with the knowledge and skills to prevent a crisis. We offer sessions that focus on the topics of homelessness, leaving home, independent living, managing conflict and healthy relationships. All the money you help us to raise through the Sleepout will ensure we can continue providing the services to help young people in our local community.

Charity Number: 01069498

Click here to register your interest with hyh

Open Door

Since 1993 Open Door, with the help of the St Albans community, has supported over 7,000 people who have experienced homelessness and been at risk of sleeping rough. Their vision is to ensure that no-one should need to sleep rough in the St Albans area and to improve the life chances of homeless people in our community.

The charity established the night shelter in Bricket Road, which provides accommodation for up to 12 people and drop-in services offering advice on things like housing and health care. It organises the provision of nutritious meals by volunteers at the shelter and drop in, funds a counselling service and a pilot project for early intervention addiction support, and contributes to maintenance and refurbishment. The Charity funds the Safe Streets Outreach Service worker, who supports those on the streets, helping them access accommodation; it also runs the volunteer-led Winter Beds Project, which last year accommodated 16 individuals who would otherwise have slept rough during the winter months.

Charity Number: 1028528

email info@opendoorstalbans.org or visit https://opendoorstalbans.org/get-involved/sleepout-2024/
to register your interest with Open Door St Albans Charity

The Living Room

The Living Room are breaking the cycle of addiction for adults and their loved ones in Hertfordshire living with substance and behavioural addictions, for free. Their success is owed to group Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sessions facilitated by counsellors with lived experience in recovery.

Charity number: 1175541

Visit www.livingroomherts.org for further information

Herts Young Homeless
Open Door
The Living Room
Centre 33
  • Echelon

Meet our Sleepout SponsorsWe would like to take this opportunity to thank our fantastic headline sponsors, local businesses Mulalley and Echelon, for kindly sponsoring this years St Albans Sleepout! Click the link below to find out more on why they wanted to be involved.

Read more

Important DocumentsImportant Documents