Pupils braved icy conditions as they took part in the ‘Big Brum Sleep-out’ to raise funds for homeless young people.

More than 10 pupils and staff braved sub-zero temperatures as they bedded down in cardboard boxes for the night in the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral.

The sleep-out was held on behalf of local charity, St Basil’s, who help young people to find and keep a home, grow their confidence and prevent homelessness.

Teachers say that the pupils who took part were keen to make a difference when they saw how difficult life can be for homeless people in Birmingham.

Louisa Burnett, Assistant Principal at Eden Boys’ Leadership Academy, Birmingham East, said:

“Our staff and pupils joined businesses and people from the local community to ‘sleep out’ on one of the coldest nights of the year. The pupils were able to raise funds and awareness for the thousands of young people across the city who face homelessness. Despite the temperature plummeting to -2 degrees, the boys huddled up in their cardboard boxes, using plastic sheeting as their ground sheet. Our pupils were keen to take part in this event, as they wanted to take action to support those less fortunate than themselves.”

The sleep-out is just one part of the school’s wider annual charitable drive, the Festive Winter Gift Programme, which takes place across the 28 schools that are part of the multi-academy trust, Star Academies.

As part of the programme children at the school have also donated gifts and provided a Christmas lunch for local elderly people, raised funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital and collected food donations for the Aston and Nechells Food Bank.

Mufti Hamid Patel CBE, Chief Executive of Star Academies, said:

“At Star Academies, we are committed to nurturing our pupils to develop a genuine desire to support those less fortunate than themselves. The festive season is one of the times in our school calendar when we step up our efforts to offer a helping hand to those in need. Once again this year, it is extremely heartening to see our pupils, parents and staff embrace our Winter Gift Programme by reaching out into their communities to put smiles on the faces of the most vulnerable. Together, we want to ensure that no one in our community is without company, a card or gift at the time of year when our country is celebrating a national holiday.”