[Editor's Note: Recently, a couple of interns and some of our UK-based Warner Bros. colleagues participated in a "sleep out" to support Centrepoint, a charity that helps vulnerable and homeless youth in London. Harry Greasley, an international product management intern at HBO, partook in the good cause and decided to write about it.]
For many of us the thought of being homeless is unimaginable, yet more and more people in the UK are being put through the awful experience every single day. So, on November 12th, Georgie Markham (also an intern, but with Time Warner Worldwide Recruitment) and I slept outside to highlight some of the hardships that homeless people face. It was a fantastic learning experience, but I definitely underestimated how challenging it would be.
The evening started off in a relaxed way, with the group setting up beds and socializing with the Warner Bros. employees who were also taking part. However, the difficulties began when we tried to fall asleep. Unfortunately for us, the heavens opened between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., which meant that the cardboard makeshift bed separating us all from the solid, concrete floor was virtually non-existent. In addition to this, the four layers, a coat and sleeping bag I wore failed to keep me warm in the cold breeze and damp conditions. This consequently led to a very short and sporadic night’s sleep.
We then got a wakeup call around 6 a.m. which gave us a clear insight into how difficult it is to be alert and compos mentis the following day. This helped the whole experience really sink in for me personally, as that Friday was hard to get through and I couldn’t understand how anyone is expected to be productive after having had such a limited amount of sleep and warmth.
In summary, it was an extremely well-run event and I would recommend it to anyone. The charity has opened my eyes to a growing problem that our country is facing and it encouraged both me and Georgie to try and continue helping people overcome this hurdle (regardless of how small the effect is).
As a pair, we raised just over £1000 and in total the Warner team raised well over an outstanding £10,000 to benefit Centrepoint. A massive thank you to everyone who sponsored us and I hope to hear of more employees taking part in future events.