How do you fancy spending a night inside Manchester’s oldest and most iconic swimming baths?

Well now you can because fundraisers are taking part in a charity sleep out at Victoria Baths to raise money for Manchester homeless youth charity Centrepoint.

And although not aiming at replicate homelessness, the event offers participants an insight into some of the challenges faced by rough sleepers every day.

Centrepoint will use the funds to offer life changing opportunities for vulnerable young people in Manchester with money raised going towards offering safe and secure housing for young people, mental health services and to support the Centrepoint Helpline which provides advice for young people facing homelessness.

“Our Sleep Out event is a fun experience, but it has a serious side to it,” says Centrepoint’s Ben Bowden.

“Homelessness in Manchester is on the increase and it is vital that we continue to raise awareness and funds to try and break the cycle.

 Sleep Out is a chance for you to say that youth homelessness is not acceptable and help Centrepoint provide futures for young people who find themselves in terrible circumstances.”

With its stained glass windows, terracotta and mosaic floors, Victoria Baths was described as “a water palace of which every citizen of Manchester can be proud” when it opened in 1906, and served the people of Manchester for over 87 years.

Having now been partially restored, the baths got a £5m revamp thanks to a number of donors including a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund, which visited Victoria Baths as a result of them winning a BBC Restoration programme in 2003.

The building now operates as a heritage visitors attraction and private events venue with over 40,000 visitors each year.

In 2017, a group of 177 lucky swimmers got to enjoy the first public swim session at Victoria Baths since it closed its doors in 1993.

The special one-off event sold out in just 20 minutes.

A great opportunity for budding historians, or those who fancy spending a night inside a big chunk of Manchester history, Sleep Out will be hosted by former Hollyoaks and The Bill actress Lisa Maxwell, a long-standing Centrepoint ambassador.

“Homelessness in Manchester is such a pressing concern for us all and it is especially worrying when you hear and see the scale of the issue in the city,” says Lisa.

“It’s brilliant that we have an event like Sleep Out, to not only highlight the issue, but to also raise money to help prevent youth homelessness and to continue supporting those who are unfortunately facing it.

“I’m delighted to be supporting the Manchester Sleep Out for a second year and I’m looking forward to seeing the amazing venue and all the brilliant people taking part in this year’s event.”

It takes place on Thursday 29th November 2018 and registration is now open. You can take part for a £20 sign-up fee.

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