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Ballingry funeral director to sleep rough in aid of Salvation Army

Funeral director Harry Webster at Benarty Miners Memorial Garden where Harry is going to be sleeping rough for 24 hours in December to raise funds for the Salvation Army in Lochgelly
Funeral director Harry Webster at Benarty Miners Memorial Garden where Harry is going to be sleeping rough for 24 hours in December to raise funds for the Salvation Army in Lochgelly

A Fife funeral director is going to face the harsh realities of sleeping rough to help those most in need.

Harry Webster will stage a 24 hour sleep out in Ballingry in the chilly hours of December to raise funds for the Salvation Army in Lochgelly.

For Mr Webster, who will turn 53 on the day he finishes his vigil, it is about giving something back.

“I’ve only started going to the Salvation Army Hall in Lochgelly recently and became aware they volunteer on Christmas day and provide a Christmas dinner for homeless people and for people who might be on their own.

“I thought it was a really good idea to have a sleepover.”

But unlike those in major cities, with entertainment and at least some comfort, Harry wanted his fundraiser to echo, as much as he could, the dreadful feeling of actually being homeless.

“While they (organised sleep outs) are good, I thought they are not really reflecting what homeless people have to do.”

So on December 3 Harry, who runs Benarty Funeral Directors, will head for the Benarty miners memorial garden to be “homeless” for 24 hours.

He will only have the most scant of provisions with him, and will be relying on the goodwill of the local community to help him through.

“I am taking no food or water and I am hoping people will drop in with a flask or tea or a sandwich,” he said.

“If not, I’ll not have anything.”

But Harry realised that if that is the case, his plight will only last a day, while for others sleeping on the streets is their life.

“On the Tuesday I can walk out the garden, I can come home and have a shower, have something to eat, maybe decide to go to my bed for a couple of hours.

“A homeless person cannot do that, they don’t have that luxury.

“They have to face that the following night and the following night until the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months.

“Some may say it is a token gesture but it is raising awareness.

“I hope people take time out to consider people less fortunate.”

If anyone would like to contribute they can do so by contact Harry at https://www.facebook.com/benartyfuneraldirectors/ or by calling 01592 869958.

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