A GROUP from West Linton who took part in a sleep out in the capital have raised thousands of pounds for charity.

At the end of last year, Stephanie Downie set herself the challenge of taking part in the Sleep In The Park Event in Edinburgh to raise funds for Socialbite.

The charity hopes to end homelessness in Scotland over the next five years.

Stephanie and her the team – Lorraine Houliston, Hazel Kinghorn, Estelle Weipers and Kirsty Wells – collectively named Thermals Night Out, quickly got to work on fundraising for the cause.

To help raise awareness of the event, a coffee morning was held on November 4 at the Graham Institute, where the generosity of West Lintoners and surrounding parishes helped raise £470.

On Saturday, December 9 – one of the coldest nights of the year, with temperatures dropped to -6 degrees, the team joined 8,000 others for the sleep out.

Entertainment from Deacon Blue, Amy Macdonald and comedian Rob Brydon helped to pass the hours away.

Hazel Kinghorn said: “Team Thermals Night Out had as many layers as they could get on as well as sleeping bags with survival bags and hot drinks supplied, so not truly “roughing” it. Some sleep was found (more than others) and people’s thoughts were definitely focused on how privileged they were to go home at 6am to warm houses and families.”

The fundraising did not stop there as the Drum Maw Ceilidh Band offered their talents for a Ceilidh on December 29 in the Graham Institute, raising £440.

Around 50 people danced the night away, and the event also celebrated the work of two West Linton schoolgirls, Isobel Everest and Kelsie Brain, who collected £70 carol singing.

Hazel added: “The Thermals Night Out raised just over £3,500. The team would like to thank family and friends from far and wide, residents of the parish of West Linton, the Drum Maw Ceilidh Band, Isabel and Kelsie, plus the Graham Institute, for all their support in helping achieve such an amazing total. Socialbite have so far raised over £4 million. Thank you to everyone for your support.”

To donate, visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/thermals-night-out