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The BIG Sleep Stargazing Sleepout – Tisbury, Wiltshire

Bed down for one night at this thirteenth century barn and watch the stars unfold above you. This fabulous, never been done before event welcomes community minded supporters together with families with children over the age of eight. The event promises to change the lives of homeless and vulnerable people in our area needing our care.

No one should call the street a home.

Join us as we stand against homelessness in a single act of compassion to help save lives under the cover of our Cranborne Chase National Landscape dark night skies.

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Event details, what you need to know

Event type:
In person
24 May 2024
Entry fee:
£10 pp
Fundraising for:
Homeless Services
Event target:

Messums West, Place Farm, Court St, Tisbury, SP3 6LW

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Good to know:
  • BIG Sleepers must be over 8 years of age
  • Registration is £10 and £5 for a young person
  • Dedicated, experienced support throughout the night
  • You will receive a fundraising pack, a kit list and a sponsorship form
  • You will be given a bivvy bag, refreshments and breakfast in the morning
  • *Everyone attending pledges to raise a minimum of £150 for our homeless work (£25 for a young person aged 8-18 years)
  • You will be funding our support for people who are homeless across Wiltshire and the Southwest, ensuring they have a safe home and training and helping with their mental wellbeing.


No one should have to call the street a home. Join us and make a stand against homelessness and help us change the lives of homeless and vulnerable people needing our care.

What is involved:  We are asking you to get sponsored to sleep out for one night and by doing so, raise funds so Alabaré can provide the support needed to help more homeless people across Wiltshire and the South West.

You will join other participants at the stargazing sleepout at this historic thirteenth-century monastic barn, the largest thatched building in the country, at Messums, a multi-purpose gallery and arts centre based in Tisbury, which will form the backdrop for our stargazing event.   

Poignancy and atmosphere

Although you will sleep out in the cold alongside the barn on the night of the event, we have terrific activities planned, adding to the poignancy and atmosphere.

  • You will be invited to join us together with Pippa Haywood for a moving Moonlit or Twilight Walk, where we will remember those less fortunate through poetry while celebrating the natural landscape around us.
  • We will also be joined by the fabulous Cranborne Chase National Landscape team, who will talk us through the astronomical dark night sky.
  • We will be joined by several astronomers who will allow us to look through telescopes where we (hopefully) can see the constellations for ourselves.

It promises to be a magical event and is ideally placed as a half-term activity.

At Alabaré, we support hundreds of people who are homeless every year. We help each person with their finances, health and self-esteem and provide a stepping-stone approach back to independent living.  Homeless people like Ben, who initially sought refuge at our Salisbury drop-in centre and was in a bad way after a relationship breakdown. Having lost contact with family, he found solace in sleeping in the woods but struggled greatly with hunger and anxiety. We provided immediate support by offering food, washing facilities, and fresh clothing while also connecting him with the rough sleeper team for ongoing assistance. As Ben’s confidence grew, he reestablished contact with his parents and has now begun living with us in Salisbury, steadily rebuilding his life.

*Everyone attending pledges to raise a minimum of £150 for our homeless work (£50 for a young person aged 8-18 years).

Some will reach far higher sponsorship levels, so if you reach £200 (£100 for a young person aged 8-18 years), you will receive a fabulous pair of socks!

Collectively, we aim to raise at least £22,000.
BIG Sleep terms and conditions

My CHILDREN have felt so helpless when it comes to life’s big issues, the environment, social injustice and care for the vulnerable……. Doing The Big Sleep has empowered them and helped them understand they can make a difference in their small way.

BIG Sleeper - Event Participant

Pippa Haywood

Pippa Haywood is a local actor known to many for her TV performances in Greenwing, Bodyguard, The Brittas Empire, Prisoners’ Wives, and most recently, The Doll Factory and Regime. She regularly contributes to radio in comedy, drama and poetry programmes. Pippa is a keen walker and poetry lover and is delighted to be joining Alabaré for this starlit walk with poems.

Did you know that 90% of the UK’s population and two-thirds of the world’s population live under heavily polluted night skies?

While we may think of pollution in terms of dirty air, water contamination and excessive noise, light pollution is equally a problem and already has a big impact on our health. It also affects local biodiversity, particularly insects, birds, and trees.

We are lucky to possess and cherish our dark night skies within our Cranborne Chase National Landscape. Ours is a unique area of pristine night skies where, on a clear night, fortunate residents and visitors can witness the majestic arc of the Milky Way. This is one of the most treasured qualities of the local landscape, and we were the first National Landscape to become an International Dark Sky Reserve in its entirety in October 2019.

What is a Dark Sky Reserve?

This is a very prestigious designation status awarded to only a few areas in the world. To date, there are just 17.

To gain this status, the area must have exceptional or distinguished starry nights and nocturnal environments that are protected for their scientific, natural, educational, cultural, and heritage treasures and/or public enjoyment.

We sincerely thank Messums West for hosting the event and their generous support.  This event features as part of their De Nadder Exhibition – A season of no things that echos our ending homelessness mission. Thank you.

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Everything we have and continue to achieve is rooted in the caring people who help fund our work and who stand with us in the belief that everyone should enjoy a bright future, homes and minds. Please look around our website to learn how you can become more involved with our work.

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How you can help

We can’t do what we do without our supporters and fundraisers, whether it is fundraising, taking part in our public events, or whether it is by volunteering your time and working alongside our clients.

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Our history

Alabaré was founded out of the simple act of providing a place of shelter and safety to help one homeless man, Bob. Today, it remains our goal to help people who are vulnerable build bright futures, homes and minds for themselves.

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Mental Health

A confidential service aimed at anyone in Wiltshire who needs support in managing their mental health and wellbeing. Working in partnership with Access Community Mental Health.

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