Selfless boy, 10, sleeping outside in tent to raise money for beds for the vulnerable

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A selfless 10-year-old boy is set to sleep in a tent for the night pitched in his back garden to help raise funds for the less fortunate.

Schoolboy Arthur Williams and his mum Elie Hart will brave the cold on Friday night, with temperatures set to plummet to -1C in parts of the UK.

The pair, from Donisthorpe, Leicestershire, are giving up their warm beds and luxuries as part of Charity Link’s annual ‘Sleepover’ event.

The fundraiser is usually held at the charity’s city centre courtyard and provides money for beds, cookers and other essential items for those suffering hard times, reports LeicestershireLive.

Before Christmas, Elie and Arthur slept in the garden with the goal of raising £125 for Charity Link and ended up raising more than £1,200.

Arthur said: “I felt really sorry for the people who didn’t have a bed to sleep in.

“It was close to Christmas and I was imagining what if would be like if they didn’t have a bed on Christmas Eve.”

His mum, Elie, had previously spoken with him about those less privileged than them.

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She said: “He is a child that shows a lot of empathy for people.

“He was shocked that some people were sleeping on the floor.”

On Friday, January 29, Elie and Arthur will gather their blankets and sleeping bags to do it all again.

“I did this and felt amazing about it because I helped a lot of people and you can do that too,” Arthur said.

Emma Wennington and her two sons, aged eight and 13, will also be taking part in Glen Parva.

Emma said: “We live a very privileged life and this gives me a chance to talk to them and explain that not everyone is as privileged as we are.

“My children have every gadget going and every computer game and they will experience a night without all of that.”

She added: “I think Charity Link is just a fantastic charity.”

All the funds raised as part of the Sleepover event will help to
improve the lives of local people in need, including those who have been directly impacted by the pandemic.

They will also help to support the wider community, such as families escaping domestic violence and those with chronic illnesses and mental health issues.

Susan McEniff, Director of Charity Link, says: “People can choose to sleep out in a tent in their garden or spend the night in their garage or shed.

“Others might want to sleep with their children on the lounge floor to experience what it’s like not to have a bed.

“The main thing is to get involved and start 2021 by doing something amazing to help others during these really tough times. If the whole night is too much, we have got a two-hour mini sleepover event so we hope as many people as possible will get involved.

“Our unique way of working means that by raising just £25, you could help to provide a bed for someone who doesn’t have this basic item that we all deserve.”