Volunteers at a sanctuary for rough sleepers spent a night outside in the elements themselves.

The Hackney Night Shelter workers spent Friday night in the churchyard at Hackney’s St John of Jerusalem Church.

They were raising funds for the shelter in Powerscroft Road, Lower Clapton, to top up the £30,000 cash they’ve already brought in. Their target is £90,000.

“There’s still quite a way to go,” one ‘sleep rough’ organiser said. “We are trying to spread the word.

“We provide year-round emergency shelter, with structured plans to help the homeless move into long-term accommodation.”

The shelter charity has 26 bed spaces each night. It has helped 100 homeless people in the past six months, including 60 getting housed.

The volunteers invited well-wishers to join the ‘sleep out’ including families, faith groups or teams from local businesses. They slept out in the garden outside St John’s, with hot soup in the evening and breakfast in the morning being provided.