A LAST call has gone out to people who wish to support the Alabaré BIG Sleep event at Wiltshire Council’s County Hall this evening.

Wiltshire homeless charity Alabaré is hosting a BIG Sleep event for the first time at the venue from 8pm this evening until 8am tomorrow morning.

The BIG Sleep is Alabaré’s flagship event in raising awareness and funds to help the homeless across North Wiltshire.

Working in partnership with Wiltshire Council, Alabaré are asking participants to brave the cold for one night at the County Hall.

Those taking part will be able to make a difference for the most vulnerable and marginalised in Trowbridge and further across Wiltshire.

On the same night, a Sleep Out being led by the Trowbridge Youth Parliament is taking place the Town Hall, from 6pm to 8am. This one is not open to the public.

A collection of 18 schools from across Trowbridge will each have four pupils sleeping inside the Town Hall to raise awareness of the issues of homelessness.

The funds raised from this event will be split between Alabaré and Julian House.

Laura Knight, Alabaré’s Community Engagement Officer, said: “With figures from the Office for National Statistics showing that an estimated 726 homeless people died in England and Wales last year, it is evident that more needs to be done to support those facing this desperate situation.

“The BIG Sleep is a vital fundraiser in helping Alabaré to support even more homeless and vulnerable people off of the streets of Wiltshire.”

Richard Clewer, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “Our aim is to work with our partners to help people avoid homelessness.

“We are making real progress in tackling homelessness in Wiltshire, but we can never be complacent – we always need to do more.

“We’re happy to be working with Alabaré to help promote The Big Sleep, it’s a great initiative that helps vulnerable people in Wiltshire.”

Alabaré's homes, drop-in centres and training facilities provide training and support to homeless and vulnerable people across Wiltshire.

Last year, Alabaré provided more than 1,000 hot meals and emergency shelter to 110 rough sleepers during severe weather.

Those taking part can either opt to spend the night in the atrium at the County Hall or, for the braver fundraisers, outside!

Everyone who signs-up pledges to raise a minimum of £100 to help support Alabaré’s work in caring for the most vulnerable in our local community.

The charity’s most recent count found a total of 21 rough sleepers in Wiltshire.

A spokesman said: “As a charity, we provide a total of 30 bed spaces across Chippenham and Trowbridge to those who are either homeless or at risk of becoming so.

“Rough sleepers are also able to access support through our drop-in facility which is open three days a week at our Unity House service in Chippenham."

If you would like to sign-up to the event, please go to www.alabare.co.uk