Between 7pm on Friday 31st March and 7am on Saturday 1st April, seventeen Arthur Terry sixth formers and three members of staff joined 70 local businesses in sleeping in cardboard boxes on the floor of the Gracechurch shopping centre, raising money and awareness of the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping.
The event was organised by YMCA’s Alan Burrows and included a visit from local councillors and Sutton Coldfield’s Mayor, Charlotte Hodivala. The evening commenced with outstanding musical performances by the Arthur Terry music department band members Sophia Wilson, Alex Davison, Harri Care, Elliot Wilkes, Maisie Goodreid, Leo Boekestein, Harriett Perry, Rebecca Woodfield and Leah Fennell.
Lily Barker, Charlotte Higgins, Cerys Woodcock, Leah lynn, Gaia Cawley, Morgan Summerfield, Adelaide Doggett, Sophie Harvey, Millie Wilson, Jacob Carter, Samantha Rogers, Lucy Willey, Jamie Richards and Alayna Mustafa all spent the night trying to sleep (!) outside Marks and Spencer whilst three students, James Perry, Ben Leedham and Ollie Bradley both slept rough and played in the various bands!
Arthur Terry were the only school permitted to take part in the event and were the life and soul of the various activities from teams quizzes to bhangra dancing to decorating their boxes –indeed Lucy Willey won an Empire cinema gold pass for her efforts in designing a London skyline on her house for the night.
A huge thanks must go not only to the students, who were amazing, but also importantly to Miss Burton and Miss Stewart who braved the hard floors to support the students and to all the hard work in rehearsing and setting the musical equipment up and down by Miss Deekes and Mr Loffman. Thanks also to care taker Mr Brierley who came to support the event and who opened the school site late in the evening in order for the musical equipment to be safely stored over the weekend.
In all the event was a huge success and both students and staff can’t wait for next year’s YMCA ‘Sleepeasy’, although ear plugs will be a must next time around!