Anyone who knows me, would be very aware that I am a massive dog lover. I adore them and I find it suspicious when people don’t like dogs. Word was going round at work that there was a fundraising event for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Obviously I signed up without even knowing what was entailed. Me and a team from work put our heads together and managed to raise £2350 by attending a STRAYOVER.
Back in April, we accomplished the Strayover- Sacrificing our beds by sleeping outside at the Battersea Centre overnight. Sounds ok? You would be fooled my friend. The days and weekends leading up to the event we had beautiful, sunny weather. However, the Friday that we ‘strayed over’ was torrential rain all day, all night and through to Saturday. Non stop.
We went straight from work on the Friday and stopped off for a drink (thankfully). When we arrived at the Centre we were greeted by some dogs who had been re homed by the workers. I could feel myself already welling up. We signed in and were given a brief speech by the people running the event. We were then handed our packages, where we received a hoodie, a beanie hat, waterproof poncho, bivvy bag, and some other essentials to survive the night. There were lots of corporate companies in their teams there, so I’d say there was a couple of hundred people taking part.
There was a little Heineken bar which was fab, as we got 4 drinks vouchers each, as well as a food voucher.
They also got us to take part in a little activity within our teams- which is the assessment that they take the dogs through when they first arrive at Battersea. This was so funny to do.
We then had a little tour around the building and the volunteers from Battersea would explain the processes to us.
Some of our team decided to settled down for the night, despite the rain. And I think they got off to sleep in their sleeping bags. I looked around at what I could only describe as small piles of rubbish scattered over the wet pavement (which was actually people asleep in their little bags) and it was then I realised that I would not be rolling out my sleeping back at any point as there’s just no point.
There were various things to keep us entertained throughout the night like a silent cinema. It really didn’t stop raining, and we were literally soaked to the bone. *sobs*. We managed to keep ourselves entertained for the evening with endless games of Heads up on my phone. (It’s the little things)
(No thats neither dead bodies nor bags of rubbish, that is actually people sleeping lol)
Then at 1am the pizza van arrived, which was just joy to my life. We were like blocks of ice at this point and I was the eternally grateful for my hot water bottle. (The love of my life- I am the coldest person known to man).
I nodded off, upright in a chair for an hour or so, then at 5:45am were woken up by the little doggiesssss. I felt like death, but it was made all the more better by the sight of a furry friend tucking herself into my lap and falling asleep on me! We were then given bacon rolls and a cup of tea and off we went home with a medal each. Extremely over tired and slightly delusional- but so so worth it.
The weather made it difficult, but it was never supposed to be easy! I’m so proud of us all for raising the amount we did, for such an a amazing cause .