Sleep Out FAQs

The Society of St James

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register?

How much is registration?

Registration is free however we ask that each participant aims to raise a minimum of £150 via a recognised fundraising platform or sponsorship form available which can be downloaded here.

Will I be safe?

We have policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety of everyone involved. The site will be fenced off. We have sufficient stewards onsite at all times to supervise activities and throughout the night. Security will be on duty throughout the night, making regular patrols and ensuring the safety of everyone on site. The park gates will be locked during the event. Please remember to read our terms and conditions before attending.

What facilities will be available on site?

We will have sufficient toilets available, including an accessible toilet.  We will have first aiders on site across the whole event.  Food and drink will be available.

What happens at the event?

We are by no means trying to replicate what it feels like to be homeless however we are using the event to raise awareness about homelessness and some of the issues faced by those who are homeless.

The event will include live music and activities and more information will be announced about these over the coming weeks and months leading up to the Sleep Out in November. The Sleep Out starts at 7:30pm and guests should start arriving from 7pm. There will be food and drink available. This event is family friendly and alcohol free, alcohol will not be permitted onto the event site. Participants will be asked to leave the event site by 07:00 on November 16th.

Are there age restrictions?

There is a minimum age limit of 15 years old but anyone under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by a legal guardian. Legal guardians accompanying anyone below the age of 18 will be asked to complete a consent form on arrival at the event. There is no upper age limit but it is your responsibility to ensure that you are healthy enough to take part in sleeping outside overnight in November. If in doubt, please take advice from your medical practitioner.

Where will I be sleeping?

The event will take place adjacent to the Café in the Park and, weather permitting, those taking part will be sleeping in the open air within the event crowd barriers.  There will be a marquee onsite however we ask as many people as possible to sleep in the open air.

What about fundraising?

We ask participants to set themselves an ambitious but achievable target which should be a minimum of £150 per person. We will send you advice on how to set up a Just Giving site either as an individual or as a team (please note each member of a team will be asked to set a target of a minimum of £150 each).

What if I don’t want to fundraise online?

Alternatively you can download a sponsorship form if you prefer. You will be asked to collect any funding by the end of November 2019 and to pay it online here  or to send a cheque made payable to the Society of St James to The Society of St. James 125 Albert Road South, Southampton, SO14 3FR. You will also need to send in your completed sponsorship form either by post or by email.

Will I still be able to take part if I don’t manage to raise £150?

We ask participants to commit to setting an ambitious but achievable target which should be a minimum of £150 per person.  However, if this target has not been reached on the night you will still be able to take part.

We’re planning on joining as a team, how does that affect our fundraising?

If you are joining as a team you are welcome to combine your fundraising target. For example if you are a group of 5, you can set your target as £750.

What about gift aid?

If you’re a UK taxpayer, Gift Aid increases the value of your charity donations by allowing charities to reclaim the basic rate of tax on your gift at no extra cost to you. That’s a 25p for every £1 you give. Please ensure that anyone who sponsors you who is a UK taxpayer ticks the gift aid box!   Options to do this will be given on both online platforms and on the sponsorship forms.

What should I bring to sleep in?

We strongly advise you to dress and prepare appropriately for the event with layers of warm clothing, a warm sleeping bag and camping/yoga mat for insulation, ear plugs, eye mask etc as this event is held outside.

The ground is likely to be cold and damp, possibly muddy, so it is essential to have something insulating and something waterproof to lie on as well as to cover you. A combination of cardboard and plastic sheeting is often used. We advise you bring a flask of hot drink should you need it through the night.

Will my valuables be safe?

SSJ accepts no responsibility for loss or damage to your personal belongings during the event. We strongly advise you not to bring valuables – leave as much as you can at home!

What else should I bring?

If you take regular medication or might need emergency medication like inhalers, tablets, epi pens, please remember to bring them with you. We will have qualified first aiders on hand in the event of an emergency.

Who will be there?

The event is open to anyone who would like to fundraise and sleep out, however only registered participants may take part. There will be around 100-150 people sleeping so lots of opportunities to meet new people. If you are a solo participant, we will do our best to introduce you to others – just let a member of staff know on the night!

Do I have to be fit to take part in the event?

The event is not physically demanding but sleeping conditions can be uncomfortable and the temperature may be very cold. If you have pre-existing medical conditions which you think may affect your ability to take part, please check with your GP before registering for the event. Fully qualified first aiders will be on site at all times.

Will there be food and drink available?

Food will be available as well as hot drinks throughout the evening. We advise you to eat a meal before you arrive, and you are welcome to bring snacks and bottled water with you for the evening. The event will be a dry event and so we respectfully ask that you do not bring alcohol with you.

Where is the nearest station?

The venue is about 10 minutes’ walk from Portsmouth & Southsea train station and there are bus stops surrounding the park.

Is there parking at the event?

There is overnight roadside parking available surrounding the park.  Isambard Brunel Multi-storey, Alec Rose Lane, PO1 2BX is a 24-hour car park and is about a 10 mins walk away.

Can I bring animals to the event?

No animals or pets may be brought to the event, with the exception of guide dogs.

I am unable to take part in the Sleep Out – can I still take part?

If you are unable to take part in the Sleep Out but would still be interested in taking part you can still come along (space permitting) and will be asked to consider a recommended donation.  Anyone not taking part in the Sleep Out will be asked to leave the site by 11pm.

Terms & Conditions Only registered participants may take part in the Sleep Out and all individuals and groups will be required to sign to confirm they have read and understood the T’s & C’s when registering for the event. If we have not answered your question, please do not hesitate to get in touch and ask as many questions as you like! You can contact us at