Raising money for homelessness: Mervyn's story

Published - 1 July 2019

On the 18th May 2019, one of our residents Mervyn Harris helped to raise funds for the YMCA by taking part in the ‘Sleep On The Pitch’ event at Southend football ground to raise awareness about homelessness.
All of the staff and residents at Catherine Lodge in Southend would like to congratulate Mervyn on his efforts raising money for those less fortunate. Well done Mervyn!

Here Mervyn shares his story:
Image of Mervyn Harris

“This is the third time in the past four years that I have taken part in this event. I slept rough myself years ago, so I sympathise with anyone that finds themselves in that situation. It left me mentally and psychologically scarred. I was abused during this time, something which I have never gotten 
over. This is something which I feel that homeless people should be aware of as sleeping rough leaves people in a dangerous situation.
                                                                                                      
“We arrived at 6.30pm and the event started at 7pm. There were singers until 10pm as well as a penalty shoot out and canteen. There were about forty people taking part as well as me, including children this year. There was a mist that started about 9 o’clock so conditions were damp and we settled down about 11 o’clock to sleep. We were woken up at 6.30 and had a McDonald’s breakfast delivered to us. 

“I raised £100 in sponsorship. Unfortunately, due to my health I will no longer be able to participate. But I will now concentrate on helping the Air Ambulance and Macmillans. 

More information

Suzanne Godfrey
Communities Communications Advisor, Genesis Housing