Brave the Big Sleep – One night in the cold can save lives

21st December 2017

Cumbria Community Foundation is asking people to brave the cold and raise awareness of the plight of older people who lose their lives due to the effects of the plummeting temperatures every winter.

The Big Sleep out in Cathedral Quarry

The annual Big Sleep raises thousands of pounds for the Foundation’s Winter Warmth Appeal. It gives people a chance to experience what it is like to sleep without heat. It is a sponsored event so everyone that takes part collects funds, which will be used to keep older people warm and well.

Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of the Foundation, said: “Older Cumbrians should not be dying because they can’t afford to keep themselves warm in winter, and we need to help change that.

“In 2017 the Winter Warmth Appeal raised almost £134,000. More than £24,000 of that came from Big Sleep fundraisers who spent a night under the stars in temperatures which dropped below zero during the night.

The Big Sleep out on Lake Windermere

“Every year, thanks to the warm generosity of individuals and businesses and those who brave the cold and take part in the Big Sleep, we are raising more money to help older people heat their homes. Please come and join us!”

Professor John Howarth, a GP and Deputy Chief Executive of the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is supportive of the Winter Warmth Appeal. He said: “Simply keeping warm could save the lives of many people, who are mostly elderly or vulnerable.”

“There is a big role for neighbours, family and friends to play, to look after each other. It really is a community effort and the Winter Warmth Appeal helps address this issue.”

This year a team from Temple Heelis Solicitors in Kendal are taking part in the Big Sleep. They’ve chosen Cumbria Community Foundation as their charity of the year, and to help raise funds the staff will be joined by their families.

Shelley Savasi, Senior Probate Administrator, said: “The funds we raise will go towards keeping older Cumbrians warm and well. The team will experience a snapshot of what it is like to be exposed to winter temperatures, as do those who can’t afford to heat their homes.”

The Big Sleep is being held on Saturday 27th January 2018 on the shore of Lake Windermere. It costs £35 for adults and £5 for children – to enter visit: The entry fee includes a hot drink, evening meal, activities, and breakfast.

If you can’t join the Big Sleep on the night why not do your own? The 1st Wetheral Brownies will be camping out remotely in a cold barn near Brampton. The girls will be taken on a midnight hike round Talkin Tarn, watch a movie and have a camp fire. If that isn’t an option, you can still donate to the Winter Warmth Appeal: visit:

You can also send a cheque to: ‘Cumbria Community Foundation’, writing ‘Winter Warmth’ on the back to: Cumbria Community Foundation, Dovenby Hall, Dovenby, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 0PN.