A PLUCKY youngster spent a night sleeping outside in the cold for charity.

Ten-year-old Jude Ball, from Maldon, and mum Vicki took part in the Big Sleep Out organised by homeless charity Chess.

They spent the whole night outside in the grounds of Chelmsford Cathedral and raised £85 for the cause.

Vicki, 34, of Flitches Mews, said she was really proud of her son.

“At the start, we met up, registered and talked to a few people,” she said.

“The mayor opened the night and we watched a poignant true story.

“It just showed how anyone could be homeless.

“We set up our space and wore our coats and onesies as layers.

“Jude slept from 11pm to 5am as he was starting to feel the cold.

“We both slept through the rain.

“When Jude got too cold, I gave him a thermal insulating mat that he could sleep on.

“But because I didn’t have a spare one, I slept directly on the ground.

“And when I felt how cold it was, I realised just that how lucky Jude, me and my family are.”

More than 80 people attended the event.

Jude and his mum were inspired by all the friendly people they met.

Vicki said: “Not many ten-year-olds would brave a cold night sleeping like a homeless person.

“He is very passionate about nobody having to be homeless.

“We are in temporary accommodation because our landlord of six-and-a-half years sold our home, so we almost faced being homeless ourselves.

“We were lucky enough to have help from the Salvation Army.

“I was really proud when my son asked if he could join me on the Big Sleep Out.

“Jude doesn’t feel anyone should have to sleep on the streets and wants to help raise money for Chess, who help people by offering beds, advice and meals, which can really make a difference.”

Vicki and Jude will be at next year’s Big Sleep Out.

Jude even met Chelmsford mayor Yvonne Spence.

She said: “I was very pleased to support the Chess sleep out.

“Chess is a great charity working with the homeless in Chelmsford and Essex to help them find shelter and ultimately homes and jobs.

“It was wonderful to see so many people, of all ages, taking part in this event, some of them for the second time and more.

“Well done to all involved and well done to Chess.”

For details about the charity, visit facebook.com/Chesshomeless or chesshomeless.org.