A GOUROCK church elder is preparing to sleep out on the streets of Glasgow in a charity bid to raise awareness of and end homelessness.

Seonaid Knox, an elder at St John’s Church, will brave icy cold conditions when she takes part in Sleep in the Park - a mass sleep out event organised by the charity Social Bite.

The 24-year-old, who is the Clerk of the National Youth Assembly of the Church of Scotland, is ready to take part despite admitting that she 'does not enjoy camping in the slightest'.

She will co-lead a group of 12 hardy young souls who are putting themselves in the shoes of rough sleepers to raise awareness of what the Kirk has described as a 'national scandal'.

Seonaid said: "At Christmas, it’s easy to get bogged down with all the preparations so that is why I’m hoping to do my bit for those less fortunate than myself by taking part in Sleep in the Park.

"Between 12 of us, we’re aiming to raise at least £1,500 to help end homelessness in Scotland.

“Some people think we’re really brave for sleeping outside in December, but the reality is that it’s only for one night and come Sunday morning we can return to our warm homes.

"It’s only right then that we try to do our bit to help those who don’t have that luxury.”

The National Youth Assembly of the Church of Scotland has already more than £810 in the last seven-days.

Seonaid, who works as a parliamentary researcher, hopes that this sleep out will be the wake up call needed to eradicate homelessness.

She said: "Some of the group are sleeping out in Glasgow while others are in Edinburgh.

"As well as communicating with each other, we’re hoping to keep busy on social media to raise awareness of the event and most importantly, to raise as much money as possible.

"Money unfortunately can’t eradicate homelessness on its own - we need policy-makers on board to tackle this.

“But if we shout about this loud enough then maybe decisions will be taken at a national level to address the issue.”

Seonaid, whose mother Rev Ann Knox is the minister of Inchinnan Parish Church, once took part in a church youth group sleepout at her home church in Gourock to raise money and awareness about homelessness when she was younger.

The Sleep in the Park event is in Glasgow on December 8. To donate online go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/cofs-nya