Dads to ‘sleep rough’ in Cambridge for Typhoon-ravaged Philippines relief effort

Robert Walbanke and Ken Lowe get in some practice.

Robert Walbanke and Ken Lowe get in some practice. - Credit: Archant

As thousands of people in the Philippines struggle to recover from the devastating affects of Typhoon Haiyan which hit last month, two Saffron Walden men will be “sleeping rough” in a show of solidarity.

Ken Lowe, of Sewards End, organised the challenge, which is taking place in Cambridge. The event, on Friday, will raise much-needed funds for the relief effort.

It is expected to be the coldest night of the year with wintery showers forecast – but according to the father-of-two it is the least he can do to help.

He said: “I saw pictures out of the Philippines. One was of a woman sleeping on the pavement with a newborn baby and thought ‘I wish it was me instead of you’.

“Instead of just raising money, we are also showing some sort of solidarity to the terrible situation those people are going through.

“It is going to be cold and uncomfortable, but for us it is just one night. For the people in the Philippines it will be considerably longer.”

The team of seven is aiming to raise more than £1,000 to send to the victims of one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded – it has claimed more than 5,000 lives and left thousands more homeless.

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Robert Walbanke, a friend of Mr Lowe’s, has agreed to take part.

The father-of-six, of Saffron Walden, said: “Ken asked me [about the challenge] when we went for a drink and I got drawn in from there.

“I was a bit apprehensive but now I am really excited.

“We didn’t want to just raise money, we wanted to put ourselves through the discomfort to try to understand slightly what they are going through.

“Whether we sleep or not I don’t know. It is definitely going to be a challenge.”

They plan is to start the fundraiser at 8pm and the team will be armed with only sleeping bags, cardboard and soup. They should be leaving their spot at around 6am the following morning.

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