The Big Sleep Launch … In a Bed on a Lake

15th December 2014

Big Sleep 2014_Stuart Holmes_-3Cumbria Community Foundation has launched this year’s Big Sleep from a bed floating on lake Windermere.

The stunt is to encourage people to sign up for The Big Sleep and enjoy a night under the stars on Saturday 7 February 2015 to raise money for the Winter Warmth Appeal.

[Watch the ITV Border news report here]

The Big Sleep is an organised mass sleep out in a field behind the Low Wood Hotel where participants are sponsored to camp out on a cold winter’s night. In return, the charity provides food and a film to keep them going.

Andy Beeforth explains why Cumbria Community Foundation raises money for the elderly:
“Every year 300 elderly people in Cumbria die because they can’t afford to heat their homes throughout the winter and that is why appeals like the Winter Warmth are so important. The Big Sleep is a fun way for people to raise money and help reduce this number. If we can manage to sleep on Lake Windermere and not fall out, it will be easy to sleep out one night on the Low Wood’s fell side. Thank you to English Lakes Hotels for allowing the event to happen, it’s important to get the community involved because the cold weather can effect anyone in your own town or village.”

Big Sleep 2014_Stuart Holmes_-2Keeping Andy company on the floating bed is Gary McKeating, Head of Socioeconomics at Nuclear Management Partners, he said: “This is the second year that Andy Beeforth and I have publicised the Big Sleep. Although the stunt is a light-hearted way to bring attention to February’s event, the issue that we’re raising money for can be a matter of life and death for some people. I’m very conscious of how lucky me and my family are to go home to a warm house. I would urge anybody that is in such a fortunate position to join us at the Big Sleep on February 7th and help those, that due to many different circumstances, have to go without heating their home, which should be considered a necessity not a luxury.”

Staging the Big Sleep is only possible thanks to the warm generosity of English Lakes Hotels, Resorts and Venues, who allow a field close to the Low Wood Hotel to be used for the event in February, Executive Ben Berry said: “We’re a business that’s always looking for ways we can benefit our local community. And whilst we are used to hundreds of people staying in our bedrooms, it is absolutely fantastic to have hundreds sleeping on our fell side, having fun and raising money for a much needed cause.”

During the winter of 2013/14, Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Appeal raised £105,000. Of that, £23,000 was raised in one night by 170 people taking part in the inaugural Big Sleep.

So far this winter, the charity has raised £37,334 for its 2014/15 Winter Warmth Appeal.

The number of people over the age of 60 who are living in fuel poverty has gone up from 1.11 million to 1.14 million in the past year according to estimates by the Energy Bill Revolution. The north west region had the second highest increase of excess winter deaths (13.2 per cent)

How to join the Big Sleep
To take part in the Big Sleep 2015 visit or call CCF on 01900 825760.

The Big Sleep at Home
This year we are offering people the opportunity to take part in the Big Sleep at Home, so if they can’t make it to the event at Windermere they can set up their own Big Sleep.
There is a lower entry fee of £20 for people wanting to join the Big Sleep at Home. Visit:

Join in the Big Sleep action at and via our twitter @cumbriafoundation #BigSleep2015

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