A TEAM of probation officers braved the winter cold by sleeping rough to raise money for a homeless charity.

Nine members of staff based at Essex Probation’s office, in St Peter Street, Colchester, spent Friday night in Castle Park to raise money for charity Beacon House, based in East Hill.

Probation officer Robert Gourlay, the sleep-out organiser, said: “My personal experience with Beacon House has been extremely positive.


“Working with a recovery alcohol and drug user they supported him by providing him with a place to be, somewhere for him to leave his possessions and a level of support that gave him the opportunity to progress in his recovery.

“From this he has recently been to an alcohol rehabilitation centre and is doing well.

“This means that a high risk of re-offending individual is not causing problems to his local community, also allowing for resources to be allocated to others.”

Probation Service research found during November and December 2012, 20 per cent of people using Beacon House services were rough sleeping.

The team hopes to raise £1,000 for Beacon House.

To contribute, go to localgiving.com/charity/beaconhouseministries.