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Animal Studies students at Nescot have held a sponsored ‘sleep out’ to raise money for a charity that supports homeless people.

The group of first and second-year Level 3 year students and three staff raised £235 for Sutton Night Watch by sleeping outside on the college’s Animal Care Unit on Friday (November 22).

The students met at 7.30pm and stayed at the unit until 7.30am on Saturday, experiencing several heavy rain showers during the evening.

“The students should be proud of how much they’ve raised for Sutton Night Watch, and I know that the charity will be very grateful,” said Zoe Brown, Nescot’s Head of Animal Studies and Catering.

Level 3 student Ben Hedges, who helped to co-ordinate the fundraising, said the night had given the students an insight into conditions faced by people sleeping rough during winter.

“We were all cold and we got soaked by the rain, but we were only out there for one night and we knew we could go home the next day,” he added.

“It made us all think about what it would be like sleeping rough night after night, especially in winter, and how that would affect your life. I’m glad we’ve been able to raise some money and I hope it helps.”

Ben attended Blenheim High School in Epsom before starting his Level 2 qualification at Nescot last year and then progressing to Level 3 in September.

“I’m really enjoying the course,” Ben added. “The teachers are brilliant, because they all have different experience and expertise, and the Animal Care Unit is great.

“I’m hoping to go into the farming industry in the future, and two of the teachers have been helping me a lot by telling me about what the industry is like, what to expect and how to prepare.”

Nescot offers Animal Studies qualifications at Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3, as well as a specialist progression diploma. To find out more about the department click here.

Sutton Night Watch offers hot food, clothes, sleeping bags and toiletries to homeless people on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights.

The charity is currently based at Secombe Theatre, but is raising funds to find a new, permanent premises.