Schoolgirl to 'sleep rough' on Lyme Regis seafront to raise money for Children In Need

Bournemouth Echo: CHARITY BID: Louise Powell, 15, is sleeping rough in the Marine Parade Shelters CHARITY BID: Louise Powell, 15, is sleeping rough in the Marine Parade Shelters

SCHOOLGIRL Louise Powell will be ‘sleeping rough’ on Lyme Regis seafront to raise money for Children in Need.

The 15-year-old Woodroffe School student hopes the stunt will create interest and generate plenty of cash for the charity.

Louise will be sleeping on the benches in the Marine Parade Shelters tonight, Wednesday, November 14, with only a sleeping bag, accompanied by one of her parents.

She said: “I just wanted to do something different for Children in Need.

“Most people come into school wearing their pyjamas and get sponsored but my mum joked about sleeping rough.

“She didn’t think I would actually do it.

“I’m hoping people will donate because it’s quite different, especially as it’s so cold.

“I’m a little bit nervous but I really want to do it and see what it actually feels like to be homeless.

“Sometimes when you see people selling the Big Issue you wonder what they’ve been through and how they feel sleeping rough while we are in our warm beds at home.

“Some of the money from Children in Need goes to people like that so I thought it was relevant to do this.”

But Louise is not expecting to get much sleep and will be wearing a hat and scarf to stave off the cold.

“It’s going to be cold, that’s what I’m most worried about, and quite uncomfortable so I probably won’t be able to sleep,” she said.

“I expect the time will go slowly.

“I haven’t looked at the weather forecast but I hope it doesn’t rain.”

Louise, of Anning Road, has chosen a very public location in the hope that passers-by will stop and chat and donate money.

She said: “I’ve made a big sign to say what I’m doing and I’ve got a donation bucket.

“I didn’t want to sleep in a field. If you go out in the open people go past, and it’s a bit more of an eye opener about what it’s really like to be homeless.”

GCSE student Louise is a volunteer at The Hub youth centre and will be selling cakes to raise extra funds before heading down to the seafront at 9pm, where she will stay until 10am on Thursday.

One of her parents will stay with her and Lyme Regis Town Council has given her a key so she can use the toilets throughout the night.

Louise said: “My parents are supportive. I think they’re quite proud of me for actually doing something.

“I think they’re just worried about how cold it’ll be.”

Louise’s sponsorship forms are at the Royal Standard, Penny Black Cafe, Largigi Thai Restaurant, and the Woodroffe School.

She said: “I just want to raise as much money as I possibly can.”

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