Castle 'sleep out' raises hundreds for veterans' charity

Taking part in the sleep out for Soldiers off the Street.
Taking part in the sleep out for Soldiers off the Street.

Ten hardy souls endured bitterly cold temperatures during a sleep out at Carrick’s Castle Green on Saturday night.

The event was organised by local man Jake McAtamney in aid of Soldiers off the Street.

Sheldon, Serena and Jake at the sleep out.

Sheldon, Serena and Jake at the sleep out.

The charity works with ex-service personnel whose lives have been affected by homelessness.

"The response was fantastic; there were about ten of us who were out all night, and upwards of 80 people who were involved at different points," Jake said.

Local politicians including David Hilditch, John Stewart, Cheryl Johnston and Noel Jordan backed the initiative, while several visitors donated hot food for participants.

"Dobbins Inn sent over two trays of sandwiches and told us to knock on their door if we needed to use their facilities," Jake added.

John Stewart MLA supporting the sleep out at Castle Green.

John Stewart MLA supporting the sleep out at Castle Green.

Over £450 in cash was collected on the night with further donations of sleeping bags, toiletries, and clothing.

A short service in memory of the fallen was also held prior to the sleep-out.

Soldiers off the Street has re-homed six Army veterans in Northern Ireland alone this year, most recently a former serviceman in the north Antrim area.

Councillor Noel Jordan supporting the initiative.

Councillor Noel Jordan supporting the initiative.

Participants endured bitterly cold temperatures.

Participants endured bitterly cold temperatures.