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A brilliant bunch of students from St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School in Northfield spent the night sleeping out to raise money to support people who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness in Birmingham.

The future fundraisers set out to raise £250 to support SIFA Fireside, but instead beat their target by 600%, bringing their total to £1,500. The group of Year 6 students, led by Millie, set up a JustGiving page, organised the Campout and sought out sponsorship themselves as part of their Sacrament of Confirmation.

St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School students (L-R) Matteo, Alfie, Millie, Maisie, Esme and Eloise with their cheque for SIFA Fireside.

Shortly after completing their SATs, Matteo, Alfie, Millie, Maisie, Esme, Eloise and Gipir (not pictured) spent a night camping out in their garden in just a tent and a sleeping bag without any of their home comforts. Although they knew this would not be the same as sleeping rough, Millie said; “it was good to have an idea of what it would be like to be in the shoes of someone experiencing homelessness”.

As to why they did it, Eloise told us; “Knowing that we would help so many people motivated us to do the campout. It was so much fun.” Apart from an incident where a slug allegedly tried to eat their crisps and a parent had to come to the rescue, the students would encourage others to raise funds for SIFA Fireside, with Alfie telling us; “I would be up for doing something like this again as it will help a lot of people and we had a lot of fun doing it.”

The childrens’ camping set up. Complete with homemade banner.

The fantastic funds raised will help to keep the doors open at SIFA Fireside’s Digbeth Support Centre, where clients are offered tenancy support, employability advice and money management sessions as well as hot food, clean clothes and shower facilities.

SIFA Fireside is urging other students and families to get outdoors and to get camping, either as an organised class or school activity or as a small group of friends.

As the students from St Brigid’s proved, the Big Brummie Campout is great opportunity to have fun, whilst also raising funds for the vital services that many vulnerable people across Birmingham rely on. Campers can register online now and start setting up your own fundraisers, whilst also accessing some brilliant, bespoke activities from the best of Brum, including Punks and Chancers, Birmingham Design Festival and Carl Chinn.

To find out how you can support SIFA Fireside and join in on the Big Brummie Campout, visit or email

Robb Sheppard