Doug the Pug Therapy Dog has been helping to raise funds and awareness for those without a home.
Our charity Sleep Out on the streets of London was cold and windy - but not wet.
Dougie dog was warmly tucked up inside my sleeping bag and his warmth and companionship gave me great comfort.
In a way, it was a shame that it wasn’t wet - those having to sleep on our city’s streets never get to choose what weathers they endure.
The street lights and shop illuminations, along with the constant traffic noise and night buses, was so intrusive. Not being able to get away from the bright lights is awful - and it is one of the biggest contributors to those living on the streets finding themselves unable to find and sustain restorative sleep.
And finding a sheltered spot under a tree is, surprisingly, never a good plan - as you risk waking up covered in pigeon poop. This is a disaster for those unable to wash their hair or launder their clothes. We know this from those who joined us and shared their experiences with us.
Settling to rest upon layers of cardboard feels ok, initially - but at 3am the cold has seeped through and the pavements then feel awfully hard, bleak and raw. I think that must be such a lonely time for those living each night on the streets as there is no one about, but it's cold, bright, noisy - and often wet too.
Despite having participated in previous Sleep Outs, in support of the homeless, I continue to learn so much every time as we try to empathise with those who are without a home.
Doug the Pug Therapy Dog and I received much support, kindness and value, and this has been much appreciated.
Cate & Doug