(Shared with us by Curriculum Manager, Vykke Gill)

I would like to say a massive thank you to all who donated to the Uniformed Public Services Course Great Tommy Sleep out.

The Isle of Wight College students recently took on a challenge that was both challenging and rewarding . They decided to spend a night sleeping rough in order to raise money for the Royal British Legion Institute, a charity that supports homeless service personnel. The event was a great success, with the students raising a significant amount of money £1,685 as the last count as well as raising awareness for the cause.

The idea to sleep rough for the night was inspired by the growing issue of homelessness in the UK, particularly among service personnel who have fallen on hard times. The Royal British Legion Institute provides support and accommodation for veterans who have struggled with mental health issues, addiction, and homelessness. The charity is dedicated to ensuring that no veteran is left behind, and this is what motivated the students to take on the challenge.

The night started with the students volunteering at the Isle of Wight Pony Club field, where in turn for their hard work they are allowed to use their facilities and field for free, Armed only with sleeping bags the students were allowed to take on their challenge in whatever manner they felt safe and secure. Some braved sleeping under tarps and some in tents.. Despite the cold and uncomfortable conditions, the students took the challenge in their stride, determined to make a difference. Even in the rain the students were positive and provided great camaraderie. The bonfire providing the centre point for communication and company. The students were provided with a soup kitchen style meal of Hungarian Goulash or Chicken Curry cooked by four other students. (first time they had cooked for others) it was actually very tasty.

As the night wore on, the students began to understand just how tough life can be for those sleeping rough. They were able to appreciate the harsh realities of homelessness and the difficulties that service personnel face when they transition back into civilian life. But they also felt a sense of solidarity with those who are less fortunate, and a deep sense of gratitude for the support that they have in their own lives.

The event was a huge success, with the students raising over £1,685 for the Royal British Legion Institute. This money will go towards providing much-needed support and accommodation for homeless veterans, helping them to get back on their feet and rebuild their lives. But more than that, the event was a powerful reminder of the importance of community and the power of collective action. By coming together to raise awareness and support for a cause, the students were able to make a real difference in the lives of those who need it most.

The Isle of Wight College uniformed Public Services students deserve a tremendous amount of credit for taking on the challenge of sleeping rough for a night. Their bravery and determination have helped to raise awareness and support for an incredibly important cause, and they have shown that even small acts of kindness can make a big difference in the world. We can all learn something from their example, and we can all do our part to support those who are less fortunate than ourselves.


Doing this challenge it has made me open my eyes to have it is actually like to be homeless and how much that they have to go through on a daily


Whilst I found it ok for one night, it was very cold and uncomfortable to be out in the open, I would certainly not like to be out in the dead of winter either. It has really made me aware of the uncertainties and dangers of sleeping out alone, even if only for one night.


Having done this challenge I feel it has given me another view of everything the charity we supported does, before doing this I had no idea they had a section of there charity that helped veterans affected by homelessness, but now I do and I'm glad I devoted my time and fundraising to this charity


What’s was the reason behind me wanting to take part in the Tommy sleep out, was to put myself in the shoes of the people that are homeless and how much they have to go through their day to day life. Raising money for the homeless showed me how many people actually go through this. It made me realise that it’s so hard for them to be comfortable and warm at night and that it has show me they go through a lot to just try and feel safe so I helped out by raising money to just hope it really helps some individuals that are struggling out there.


Going into this I didn’t know what they have to go through every day and night and doing this sleep out I now have a little knowledge on what they go through.


Doing this challenge helped me understand more about what it is like to be homeless and It felt good to be able to give to this cause


Going into this challenge I thought I had idea of what the homeless had to go though but after my experience taking part in the great Tommy sleep out and doing that every night I would struggle and knowing that people have to do that every day and struggle. Hopefully raising this money can hopefully give the homeless food or shelter.


Doing this sleep out under the stars really opened my eyes to what others go through. The struggle others go through day in day out. Doing this was a massive eye opener and im so glad that not just me but my friends all did it together.


Doing this challenge helped me with 2 things which are to find out what it’s like to be in homeless situations and the other to toughen up in rough environment.


Doing this challenge has shown me the hardships homeless people go through and also how with the right fundraising and charities we can get them off the streets and in to housing but if not we can buy them the equipment that can help them deal with the elements. It has also shown me how much simple acts of kindness affect people in situations like this and how a helping hand goes along way.


Whilst doing this challenge I wanted to raise money for charity giving me the view of what it is like for the people that are affected by this. It has given me new skills and strengths that I have found. It has showed me what homeless people have to really go through and given the opportunity to be in that position made me want to commit and help them even more than what I anticipated before. I am so glad there is a charity out there that will help the veterans that are struggling from homelessness.


This challenge really opened my eyes Staff for what is like to be homeless. I mean I did buy them small things like hot drinks and food