Inspired by soldier son, family of care home workers gets ready to Sleep in the Park to support homeless charity

A family of care home workers is preparing to brave freezing temperatures to participate in this year’s Sleep in the Park in Dundee and help tackle homelessness in Scotland.

Steven and Michelle Moody from Arbroath are supporting the event, along with their 16-year-old daughter, Billie, by taking part in the mass participation sleep out in Dundee’s Slessor Gardens on Saturday, December 8. And their inspiration is the couple’s son Jordan, currently serving in the army.

The family, who all work at Balhousie Monkbarns care home, will be among 200 representatives from Balhousie Care Group who are sponsoring Sleep in the Park in aid of the charity Social Bite. The Moodys will be joined by colleagues, families and friends of the care home group, as well as company chairman Tony Banks, for the event.

With Jordan Moody (20) currently serving in Dubai, the family was inspired to support Social Bite’s work as so many homeless people around the country are people who once served in the military.

Michelle explained:  “Steven and I wanted to take part in Sleep in the Park because so many former military people end up on the streets and without the correct support. Those serving our country should be entitled to a home and looked after once they’ve left the armed forces. This is why we have chosen to take part.”

Jordan is currently serving in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards but will be home from Dubai in December while his parents and sister are taking on the sub-zero challenge. When his mum asked whether he wanted to join his family for the charity event, Jordan politely declined.

Said Michelle:  “It was no surprise Jordan wasn’t keen as he’s experienced outdoor exercises in freezing conditions during his time in the army, so he knows what it will be like. He’s lent me his army sleeping bag for the night though, which is extra warm.”

This is the second time Balhousie Care, and Steven, have participated in Sleep in the Park. Steven joined 20 colleagues last year, braving brutal temperatures as they bunked down in Princes Street Gardens last year. Raising £15,000, Balhousie Care was one of the top corporate fundraisers at the 2017 event.

Balhousie Care Group Chairman Tony Banks is hoping that, as sponsors and participants, the 25-strong care home group can help to build momentum in Social Bite’s mission to completely eradicate homelessness in Scotland. Tony, a native of the Dundee and Angus region, will be braving the freezing temperatures again this year in Slessor Gardens.

Tony said:  “Taking park in last year’s Sleep in the Park was a massively humbling experience for myself and my colleagues. It was a genuine struggle to cope against the elements and it is shocking to think there are people faced with this struggle every single night in Scotland. Caring is, literally, our middle name here at Balhousie, and the Moody family are proof of that. So it’s natural that we stepped up as sponsors of Sleep in the Park Dundee. It’s vital we draw attention to this serious social issue and raise money to help aid Social Bite’s excellent work.”

Sleep in the Park is taking place across four cities – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee – with an estimated 12,000 people taking part. Social Bite, which addresses homelessness through its cafes, restaurants and free food distribution in Scotland, is aiming to build on last year’s fundraising total of £4 million.

Amy McDonald and KT Tunstall are ‘busking’ at all four venues, travelling between each by helicopter. Other performer across the cities include Eddi Reader, Frightened Rabbit, Lulu and The View’s Kyle Falconer who will be performing at the Dundee event.