One year ago I was in trouble. I had accepted a challenge to raise money for the Winter Warmth Fund by sleeping on the shores of Stickle Tarn on a cold, snowy, February night. The cold took to my bones.
My recently healed shattered knee cap and femur felt like they may just give up and I vomited my dinner in exhaustion. Fortunately I had suitable equipment and a team of other intrepid fundraisers with me to get through the night.
Despite this I knew I had achieved something by raising much needed funds for the Winter Warmth Fund, keeping my Cumbrian elderly neighbours warm and away from death’s cold reach. But I knew that if we wanted to keep raising money year after year we needed to get more people involved and so with a few others we dreamt up The Big Sleep. The idea was to get hundreds of people on a hillside out in the cold with some accessible adventure for raising awareness and funds with family and friends.
On Saturday 15th February 2014 we had The Big Sleep on the hill behind Low Wood Bay Resort Hotel. Despite everything imaginable working against us, the event went well, with 167 brave souls taking part. The event attracted high profile supporters as well as plenty of ‘normal’ folk who wanted to help.
Waking up on a cold still morning, with the sun breaking the clouds that had rained on me during the night, the lake stretching out towards the majestic Langdale peaks and the whiff of a cooked breakfast in the air, I realised how glad I was to have a heated home to live in. Because I’m not going to lie, sleeping under the stars in February is not easy, indeed it is very uncomfortable. But I’m more than willing to sacrifice one night of cold and discomfort to raise awareness of those that suffer a whole winter that way.
Big Sleep 2014 Highlights
- Written by +Ben Berry