Seagulls manager joins the Big Sleep Out to raise awareness about homelessness

Graham Potter at Brighton's Big Sleep Out for Title Sussex

Brighton’s annual Big Sleep Out returned on Friday 12th November, and was attended by BHAFC manager Graham Potter.

The event is hosted by Off The Fence, who have been working with the homeless for over 20 years. The fundraiser will enable money to go towards the charity’s Anti-Free Project, which offers clothes, food, showers, emotional support, and more for the homeless.

Established as a registered charity in 1997, Off The Fence has spent over two decades working with disadvantaged people to put an in Brighton. Their main three areas cover homelessness, women at risk, and schools and youth, with their mission being the eradication of social and spiritual poverty in the city.

Brighton boss Graham Potter, his assistant Billy Reid and first team coach Bruno Saltor joined the Big Sleep Out on Friday, which was held at St Peter’s Church in the heart of the city.

Bruno Saltor, Graham Potter, ans Billy Reid at Brighton's Big Sleep Out for Title Sussex

Graham said:

“We had an easy version of sleeping rough, but it still gave us an insight into the challenges the homeless community face on a daily and nightly basis. Having experienced just one night out on the street, I cannot imagine what it would be like suffering in this way with no idea of what the future holds, or where the next meal might be coming from.

There is a ridiculous stigma attached.

“These are some of the most vulnerable members of our society, and they need our help and support. Many are suffering from illness, poor health and it is heart breaking in 2021 that we still see people living on our streets.

“There are some amazing charities across the UK, and here in Brighton & Hove, who do some amazing work. It’s getting tougher for those organisations, and as we move into the depths of winter when the nights will get colder, with temperatures going sub-zero, I would urge those of you who can, to give them your support this winter.”

Bruno, Mayor, Graham and Billy at Brighton's Big Sleep Out for Title Sussex

Billy added: “The city is bracing itself for a sharp increase in rough sleepers. People sleeping rough die younger, are more likely to get ill, and are more vulnerable to violence than those in the wider population. They need your help.”

Bruno agreed with their sentiments, encouraging the raising of awareness. “It is so important to raise that awareness; a lot of people are still struggling since the pandemic. It has been a hard two years for everyone but there are a lot of people still struggling. The consequences of that are massive.”

If you would like to donate to Off The Fence to assist them in their work, you can do so here.

About Carly Pepperell
Carly gets to do everything under the sun at TM including writing, editing, taking photos, creating stories, and swanning around at launches. She can down a glass of Prosecco without pausing for breath, and aims to be the youngest Pulitzer winner ever.