A SWINDON homelessness charity celebrating its 40th anniversary this year is hoping to attract one person for each year to take part in a sleepout.

Threshold housing link is recruiting a brave team who will sleep rough to create public awareness and raise funds to provide shelter and support.

The volunteers will give Christmas parties a miss on December 7 by participating in The Sleepout 2012. The group will be bedding down in the car park of the Immanuel United Reform Church in Upham Road with their cardboard, plastic sheeting and warm clothes in the hope that they can exceed last year’s fundraising total of £9,135.

Chief executive officer Cher Sawyer-Smith said: “As this is our 40th anniversary year we are hoping that 40 people will help us at this very important annual event for Threshold.

“The Sleepout not only raises vital funds but also makes people more aware of our services and the great need for their support for those local people who are unfortunate to become homeless.

“By sleeping out our supporters gain a better understanding of the reality faced by some homeless people each night in Swindon.

“For every £10 raised through sponsorship our Resettlement Workers who undertake the role of outreach can go out for an hour to meet homeless people on the streets, at the breakfast club or soup run and offer advice and support to get into accommodation, access health care or benefits. “Every £33.67 raised covers the cost of someone spending one night in our direct access hostel – giving a homeless person safe shelter in a warm, clean and welcoming environment and providing respite from the pressures and rigours of street living.”

Anyone who would like to take part should contact Threshold on 01793 524661 or email phil.smith@thl.org.uk.