My name is Mike Crocker one of the founders at Gravitate Accounting and I decided to take part in the Bossin It challenge.
It was completed by myself along with five other members of our team (Emily, Chloe, Niamh, Charlotte and Jess).
We started by sitting out on our lunch break to experience asking strangers for change which was an eye opener.
It felt awkward, unnatural, and embarrassing having never done this before!
It did get easier though, we endured this in support of trying to raise as much money as possible and managed to raise further funds for the charity which was a result!
What I witnessed was an abundance of people purposely walking from our side of the road to the other once they spotted me, people starring from their cars and people walking by without any acknowledgment to our existence!
We only did this for one hour however it wasn’t all bad we luckily bumped into some local business owners and some strangers who donated to our Just Giving page.
Now that was a small success we looked ahead to starting our sleep out at 8pm, luckily for us it was going to be a warmer night than we anticipated given the time of year.
When we set off to go to our location, we quickly realised that the gates were shut and we had no way of gaining entry to the courtyard!
We had no choice but to sleep in our car park onward-facing to a public road.
That certainly made us all more nervous, but we had no choice but to continue with the sleep out in our new spot!
During the night we felt in high spirits for the first couple of hours however as soon as the tiredness kicked in and the noise of vehicles crossing the road died down we then felt much more vulnerable especially when we head shouting and loud noises coming from the roadside!
It took what felt like forever to start to settle down to get some sleep which I think started around 1am, however we regularly all woke up throughout the night being disturbed.
The things that woke us up were the general unfamiliarity of being outside and feeling rather exposed to any dangers that lurked around the corner, we also started to feel much colder around 2/3am where the temperatures started to drop!
Luckily, we was well equipped however still on the colder side, had this been a much colder night nearer to the peak of winter it would have been extremely uncomfortable and very difficult to have warmed up!
Lastly the final disturbance was the loud noises of the bins being emptied which woke everyone up with quite a fright!
I felt that we only managed to get through it with some sleep because we wasn’t in the most vulnerable of places unlike the city centre and being in a much larger group made us feel safer.
Had those two things been different I just know it would have made the sleep out so much harder for all of us!
The worst parts for me were the mixture of being cold and the sheer back pain you get from sleeping on a very hard ground!
The things I will take from this are that everyone deserves to be acknowledged and I now have a much better understanding as to just how difficult it must be for the homeless in relatively fair weather knowing this must be so much more difficult for them during the coldest of months!
We end on a high though, knowing we all got through it together and raised an amazing £1,081 for The Archer Project and this is still rising now!
Thank you to Lucy and the team for allowing Gravitate Accounting to take part in this amazing fundraiser that I know personally we have taken so much from the experience!
Finally, a big thank you to everyone who donated and supported #TeamGravitate on this challenge.
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