Children from Willesden school take part in sleepover to raise money for homeless people

Pupils from St Mary's CofE Primary raise money for charity by experiencing a homeless night at schoo

Pupils from St Mary's CofE Primary raise money for charity by experiencing a homeless night at school - Credit: Archant

Pupils from a primary school in Willesden spent the night experiencing homelessness to raise money for rough sleepers.

Children from St Mary’s CofE Primary school in Garnet Road, swapped their beds for gym mats as they discovered what it meant to be homeless, including a supper of bread and soup in the evening.

Working in collaboration with Free The Children, an international charity encouraging children to be agents of change the pupils used the experience to raise funds for Ashford Place, a refuge centre for homeless people based in Ashford Road, Cricklewood..

Cllr Lesley Jones, deputy mayor of Brent, and Harlesden councillors Aisha Eniola and Bobby Thomas, attended as did representatives from Ashford Place including two homeless people who answered the children’s many questions including how they cope in freezing weather.

Luke Patterson, teacher and history and geography co-ordinator at the school, said: “It was really interesting for everybody. The children got a real sense of what it means to be homeless and how it can happen to anybody.

“We heard that Jennifer Lopez, Ed Sheeran and Jay-Z have been homeless at some point which came as a surprise to me too.”