Housing

Reality star Vicky Pattison slept out in homelessness charity’s award-winning garden filled with weeds

The former I’m a Celebrity winner spent the night in the Centrepoint garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. The youth homelessness charity’s garden later won a gold medal award from judges

Vicky Pattison sleeps out at the Chelsea Flower Show for Centrepoint to raise awareness of youth homelessness

Pattison admitted her sleep out "wasn't the best night sleep" but was nothing compared to what youngsters face when experiencing homelessness. Image: Dave Benett / Getty Images for Centrepoint

Reality TV star Vicky Pattison slept out in a garden with a part-demolished house and weeds at Chelsea Flower Show in a bid to raise awareness of youth homelessness in the UK this week.

Far from the planted and pruned perfection seen across the rest of the show, the Centrepoint Garden is intended as a “visual metaphor for young people facing homelessness”, according to designer Cleve West. It includes the dilapidated structure, a fallen tree, weeds and 120,000 dots etched on the back wall to mark the number of young homeless people in the UK.

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The effort impressed the judges and scooped a prestigious gold medal prize as well as the best construction award at the show.

Former I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! winner Pattison was also impressed. She spent the night in the garden earlier this week to raise awareness of the issue and give her support to the youth homelessness charity.

Vicky Pattison sleeps out at the Chelsea Flower Show for Centrepoint to raise awareness of youth homelessness
The garden acts a “visual metaphor for youth homelessness” with a fallen tree, a building in disrepair and weeds. Image: Rebakah Kennington / Centrepoint

“It wasn’t the best night’s sleep,” said Pattison. “But I knew I was safe and that I’d be able to go home to my own bed tonight. It’s not right that so many young people go to sleep terrified for their own safety without knowing how to find somewhere safe to stay.”

The Centrepoint Garden has been gifted to the charity and funded by Project Giving Back which offers good causes the opportunity to create a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Designer West said the mixed planting in the garden is intended to create an evolving natural habitat for wildlife to emphasise the important role a garden plays in making a house a home.

Vicky Pattison sleeps out at the Chelsea Flower Show for Centrepoint to raise awareness of youth homelessness
Designer Cleve West (right) picks up the Centrepoint Garden’s gold medal award from BBC presenter Nicki Chapman. Image: Rebekah Kennington / Centrepoint
Vicky Pattison sleeps out at the Chelsea Flower Show for Centrepoint to raise awareness of youth homelessness
Pattison checks out the 120,000 dots etched into a back wall to represent the amount of youngsters facing homelessness in the UK at the Centrepoint Garden. Image: Rebekah Kennington / Centrepoint

Five bird boxes, designed by sculptor Johnny Woodford, are placed around the garden to play muffled recordings of everyday sounds – children playing, dogs barking, clocks chiming and conversation around the dinner table – to reinforce the message. 

Matt Nicholls, head of marketing and communications at Centrepoint, said that while Patison’s sleep-out was intended to be uncomfortable, she did not face the same dangers that young people facing homelessness do every day across the UK.

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“The fact is that too many young people find themselves with no option but to sleep rough and many thousands more are reliant on friends and strangers for a place to stay,” said Nicholls.

“We can stop this happening – but we need to make sure there’s a proper plan in place to end youth homelessness that focuses on preventing it in the first place and ensuring there’s age-appropriate accommodation for those who need it.”

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