A STEVENSTON woman has told how sleeping outside in the cold has helped raise tens of thousands for the homeless.

Ashleigh McBlain took part in the Big Ibrox Sleep Out at Ibrox Stadium which raised over £50,000 for the Glasgow City Mission’s Winter Night Shelter.

The 32-year-old told the Herald: “Wandering through the streets, you see more and more homeless people.

“You never know what could happen, it could be you that’s out there.

“I just really wanted to try and make a difference even if it was a small contribution.”

Ashleigh joined 89 others who slept out on the pitch from 8.30pm til 7am on November 22.

She said: “Doing it in the open air made you appreciate how lucky you are to have a roof over your head.

“You can feel how cold it is and understand how it is for someone that is homeless.

“Anybody is only a paycheque away from being out on the streets yourself.”

Half of all money raised will ensure that the Winter Night Shelter can remain open for the month of March, when the weather is still extremely cold.

The remaining funds will go towards supporting the Rangers Charity Foundation.

Ashleigh said: “A lot of people don’t know the reason rough-sleepers are in that position; a lot of them are vulnerable people.

“The City Mission goes round the streets, takes them in, and gives them shelter. The money raised has helped to keep the shelter open and giving them sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, items of clothing, and something to eat.

“This is reality for these people. So many all about the streets.

“We need to address why they are out there, they may have something that happened; depression, lost family members, then they have to go off work, lost jobs, turned to drugs to numb it.

“Bring these people in, ask them why, and see if there is anything that can be done.”

Jack Geddes, Glasgow City Mission fundraising manager, said: “The Big Sleep Outs have helped raise awareness of the most disadvantaged in our city and, of course, raised very significant funds that allow the Mission to extend the opening of the Glasgow Winter Night Shelter for an extra month.”