Carol Gaskarth, PCP Chief Executive, braved the frost on Monday night in a bid to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping in County Durham.

The evening started with a welcome from the Dean of Durham Cathedral and inspiring talks from CEO Sleepout who organised the event and Changing Lives, a national charity based in the North East that has been supporting vulnerable people for over 45 years, before bedding down outside the Cloisters as temperatures plummeted to 2°C.

Having raised over £800 already, Carol is pleased that so many people recognise the worthwhile cause whilst reflecting that in 2018 no one should be without a place to call home. Carol explained, “We heard a very moving story from a young lady who had been homeless for eight weeks after family breakdown and financial difficulties left her with no choice but to take to the streets.

Having experienced the discomfort and cold for only one night, I cannot even begin to imagine what that must be like, let alone not knowing if you’re going to be moved on or where your next meal might come from. I was freezing, the floor was uncomfortable and as silly as it sounds I was surprised how dirty I felt off the floor – I hadn’t appreciated how dusty the pavements are! I couldn’t wait to get a hot shower, wash my hair and jump into my own bed; a luxury that I now won’t take for granted.”

If you’d like to know more about PCP please call into the Pioneering Care Centre, Carer’s Way, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 4SF, Telephone: 01325 321234, E-mail: or visit or find PCP on Twitter: @PioneeringCare and Facebook: @PCPandCentre.

Carol at Durham Catherdal (002)