The Big Sleep Out, London frequently asked questions

Are there any age restrictions?

The minimum age to enter the event is 14. If you are aged 14 to 17 you will have to be accompanied by an adult. There is no upper age limit but it is your responsibility to ensure that you are healthy enough for sleeping out overnight. If in doubt, please take advice from your medical practitioner.

What should I bring?

It's going to be cold as you will be sleeping in the stall area, although undercover it is in the open air. We suggest bringing lots of layers and a sleeping bag. We also suggest bringing a sheet of cardboard to have on the floor or roll matt. We recommend that you bring extra warm clothes including a couple of pairs of socks, hat and gloves.

You don't need to bring any money with you for the event, but there will be a chance to buy a Big Issue Foundation beanie hat or t-shirt for £10 and there will of course be opportunities to donate more to support our work if you would like to.

Where will I be sleeping?

You will be sleeping on the concrete floor in the stalls area of the Kia Oval. The lower level is slightly sheltered from any wind/rain however the upper level is fully exposed- you can choose where to sleep. 

If you are unable to sleep there is a break out area indoors where you can talk and get refreshments.

Do I have to be fit to take part in the event?

If you have pre-existing medical conditions that you think might affect your ability to complete this challenge then we strongly recommend that you seek medical advice before registering.

There will be fully qualified first aiders on site at all times if there are any problems, but we have not encountered this on any of our previous Sleep Out events.

Will there be food and drink available?

There will be snacks available in the evening and croissants in the morning, as well as hot drinks throughout the night. We advise you to eat a meal before you arrive and you are welcome to bring cold snacks and bottled water with you for the evening. The event will be a dry event and so therefore we respectfully ask that you do not bring alcohol with you. Anyone found to be under the influence of alcohol or with alcohol on them will be asked to leave the event.

How long does it last?

Registration takes place between 9.30-10pm. Breakfast will be served from 6am and everyone will need to have left the venue by 7am.

What about fundraising?

We ask you to aim to raise a minimum of £350 which will provide vital support for some of society’s most vulnerable people. This could go towards helping a vendor move into housing, gain a qualification or provide them with ID to open a bank account and move into employment.

This might sound like a lot, but you'd be surprised how soon you can reach this target! We’ve got lots of ideas and materials and are on hand to support you to reach your target.

You have until 17th January 2019 to reach your fundraising target. We will only ask you to make a donation to cover your fundraising if you have shown no effort to fundraise- this is very rare. 

We recommend setting up a JustGiving fundriasing page here. You can also download the printable sponsorship form from our website. If you would prefer not to fundraise then you are able to make a one off personal donation of £300 at the point of registering instead.

Who will be there?

Lots of people, the event is open to anyone that would like to fundraise and sleep out for the Big Issue Foundation. People will be entering in teams, as well as individuals and it is a great place to meet like-minded people. You will be able to sleep in the same area as anyone that you are coming with, and if you're coming alone we will also have an area for solo participants to meet before the event starts.

We're planning on joining as a group, how does that affect our fundraising?

If you are joining as a group you are welcome to combine your fundraising target through a group fundraising page. For example if you are a group of 5, you can set your target as £1750.

Where is the nearest station or tube?

The venue is about 5 minutes walk from Oval Station on the Northern Line and 10 minutes walk from Vauxhall Station where you can access the Victoria Line, Vauxhall Bus Station and National Rail trains.

Is there parking at the event?

We are able to offer some parking for the event so please do let us know if you require a space as these will be limited.

Can I bring animals to the event?

No animals or pets may be brought to the event, with the exception of guide dogs.

Will there be a place to leave my belongings?

We’ll ask people to leave large items in a designated area so we have enough space for seating during the entertainment. These areas will be manned by volunteers; however, we strongly advise you not to bring valuables to the event.