One mountain, one night, 50 Occupational Therapists take the Big Sleep challenge!

Around 50 occupational therapists (OT) from across Cumbria are taking part in the Cumbria Community Foundation’s Big sleep this year. They are going to brave the cold in one of the county’s most dramatic places – Honister Slate Mine!

The annual big sleep raises money for the winter warmth appeal which helps Cumbria’s older people stay warm in winter.

The OT challenge was Cumbria Partnership Trusts Professional :Lead for OT Janet Folland’s idea

She said: “I think that we (as occupational therapists) have all worked with people in Cumbria who are vulnerable and at risk during winter weather so this appeal seems particularly pertinent. “

In a bad winter up to 300 elderly Cumbrians die because they are forced between eating and heating, the winter warmth appeal is a pot of cash that can be distributed to older people suffering from rising fuel costs and poor health.

But Janet didn’t want the OT’s Big Sleep to be just anywhere, she explained:

“The Big Sleep is a brilliant fund raiser for Cumbria Community Foundation and in thinking about bringing together a group of occupational therapists I wanted to find a ‘special’ venue. Cumbria Community Foundation has done some amazing work in the last few months in the aftermath of the floods and I want to find somewhere that would help raise the profile of this brilliant fundraising effort. For this reason I wanted to find somewhere eyecatching and challenging. I thought of Honister Slate Mine! The owner and management team have been very supportive and agreed to give us access to part of their mine for this event and are even joining us in the mine for the night, it’s really quite exciting!”

Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “I am overwhelmed that fifty OT's are helping to raise money for our Winter Warmth Appeal.  We've raised £75,000 so far to help older Cumbrians stay warm this winter but we need to raise more.

“I thought sleeping out next to Lake Windermere was impressive, Honister Slate Mine is another level! I hope they enjoy getting cold for a good cause.”

The Big sleep takes place on Saturday evening 30th January.