Dons Local Action Group volunteers taking part in the 'Big Sleep Out'

Sleepout at AFC Wimbledon stadium raises £30,000

The southwest London-based charity Dons Local Action Group has been organising the ‘Big Sleep Out’ for the last three years at the Cherry Red Records stadium in Wimbledon.

64 people took part in the ‘Big Sleep Out’ on December 9, where participants were sponsored to brave the cold and sleep overnight at the ground in a bid to raise money for those in poverty.

Xavier Wiggins is one of the three co-founders of Dons Local Action Group, founded in March 2020.

Wiggins said: “The purpose of the event is to encourage people to fundraise for those in need this winter, and to raise awareness for the difficulties many people in the city face.

“Leaving your comfortable bed for the night and doing this gives you an insight into the reality for many people.”

SLEEP OUT TO HELP OUT: Some of the 64 participants who fundraised (Photo Credit: DONS Local Action Group)

The charity established at the beginning of the Covid was initially set up to collect and deliver food to vulnerable and self-isolating residents, with the first set up collection point set up in Wimbledon town centre.

Thanks to the huge response and enthusiasm from the local community, DONS Local Action Group has grown exponentially, adding collection points and creating charity links with groups across Kingston, Merton and Wandsworth.

Since March 2020, the charity has donated over 5.5 million meals, 3300 laptops and thousands of furniture items to help alleviate the difficulties for individuals and families in south west London.

The £30,000 fundraised at the ‘Big Sleep Out’ will go a long way towards ensuring assistance is provided to help those struggling.

Wiggins said: “We rely on events like this to keep the charity sustainable.

“This money will go to women’s refuges, food banks and other organisations that rely on the goodwill of people.”

DONS Local Action Group has over 2,500 volunteers in its network across the three boroughs, with people contributing all-year round to the cause.

DONS Donations: The food, laptops and furniture donated to the charity has helped thousands in south west London. (Photo Credit: DONS Local Action Group)

Wiggins said: “We harvest the goodwill that exists in the community and help the community to deliver it in a meaningful way.”

“We think of the work we do as spreading love and dignity, it shows someone cares about you.”

The three founders of the charity are all AFC Wimbledon fans, and have built a close relationship with the club.

At this year’s ‘Big Sleep Out’, AFC Wimbledon first team manager Johnnie Jackson and other members of his coaching team all took part.

Wiggins said: “We work very closely with the club, they are very community oriented and want to contribute to making a change.”

To find out more about the charity, visit their website:

To volunteer and join the cause, visit this link:

Feature image credit: DONS Local Action Group

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