After becoming homeless last year, a Hemel Hempstead man is now inspired to return the favour by supporting the local charity that helped turn his life around.
Matt Shrimpton is taking on the DENS Sponsored Sleepout on Friday 25 November at Hobbs Hill Wood Primary School, joining many others in giving up their bed for the night to support local people facing homelessness and food poverty.
When Matt had nowhere left to turn, while also battling a 20-year addiction, he was provided short-term accommodation and tailored support at DENS’ 44-bed hostel, The Elms.
Matt said, ‘I was constantly moving. It’s a very isolated life when you’re homeless.
‘I’m so grateful to DENS for everything they’ve done. I’ve never felt so positive about my future. I’m a completely different person and I love who I am now.’
Every penny raised through the Sleepout will help DENS rebuild the lives of people in Dacorum like Matt, who is now living in his own property and in recovery from addiction.
Matt has some exciting fundraising plans lined up for next year, but first he is urging as many local people as possible to sign up for the Sleepout.
‘Come and get a feel of what rough sleepers face. You’ll also see how much hard work goes into running this charity. They do an amazing job to keep their services going,’ said Matt.
The fundraising event kicks off with the fun of a glow silent disco and magic tricks, then all participants will face the harsh reality of braving a night without their bed, either outside or indoors.
Registration for the DENS Sponsored Sleepout closes on Wednesday 23 November. To book your place, please visit www.dens.org.uk/sleepout.