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All set for charity sleepover under the stars

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By Fiona Reid
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All set for charity sleepover under the stars

A LOCKERBIE trio will trade their cosy beds and snuggly PJs for sleeping bags under the stars tomorrow night.

Sisters Christine Howatson and Bev Farish, joined by her daughter Briagh, will sleep rough in Aberdeen as part of the annual Cyrenians Sleep Out, to raise awareness and funds for Aberdeen Cyrenians,acharity that assists the homeless.

Bev explained that the family have always been active in raising funds and equipment to help the homeless, having collected for the Rock Trust in Edinburgh for many years.

She said: “We would receive car loads of items to take up from Dryfesdale church, neighbours, work colleagues and friends.”

Midwife Briagh, 20, moved to Aberdeen in 2013 and has since started volunteering with the Cyrenians in her spare time and hopes to specifically get involved with supporting homeless woman.

Bev said: “It made sense to support this charity which is close to Briagh’s heart. “We should never take for granted how lucky we are in our cosy wee homes with folk that support and care for us and how quickly that could all be taken away.

“We don’t know these folks’ circumstances and people can be too quick to judge so we should all try and showabit of compassion for others when we can.”

Getting ready to snuggle down in a supermarket car park tomorrow night, Bev said: “Briagh decided to take up the challenge to sleep out for 12 hours in an Asda car park in Aberdeen – is thereacolder place in Scotland?-to raise awareness and sponsorship to support the charity and we wanted to join her.

“We have also received bags of toiletries, socks, gloves etc to take up and we will drop these off to the organisers who will make them available to the folk who use the service.”

She added: “We have been asked to try to raise £50 per person and we have exceeded that already, folk are so kind, but it would be great to raise a little bit more for this worthy cause.”

Scott Baxter, depute chief executive of Aberdeen Cyrenians, added: “Sleeping rough is an issue that some of our service users face on a daily basis. “We could never fully replicate the homelessness experience and we recognise participants will not face all of the issues a rough sleeper would face.

“However, this gives people the opportunity to have some insight into what it might be like to sleep in the elements, and a chance to acknowledge some of the things we all take for granted onadaily basis like warmth and access to toilets.”

■ To sponsor the trio, visit: mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/bevf arish1

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