A BRAVE Linwood mum will endure freezing weather as she sleeps rough to highlight the plight of homeless people.

Rosalynne Forrest, 34, will bed down in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens for a night under the stars, but she won’t be alone.

For she will be taking part in Sleep in the Park, which is being billed as the world’s biggest sleep-out.

An expected 9,000 rough sleepers will bed down for the night in the charity fundraiser for Edinburgh-based organisation Social Bite, which is campaigning to eradicate homelessness.

As a former heroin addict, mum-of-three Rosalynne has experienced first hand the ordeal of sleeping on the street.

She left home at the age of 15 and moved to the Ferguslie area of Paisley, where her addiction began.

She told The Gazette: “I got in with the wrong crowd and started doing drugs – heroin and crack. I was totally addicted and became homeless, sleeping rough in outhouses, sheds and car parks.

“Addiction destroyed my life for 12 years. I just drifted around and even slept rough in London for a while. It was a nightmare but, thankfully, that’s all behind me now.”

Rosalynne’s fightback started eight years ago when she desperately sought help from Turning Point Scotland, which provides social care services.

She said: “I kept telling myself that, if I didn’t get clean, I would end up killing myself. I approached Turning Point because I was so determined to get out of the rut I was in.

“They were brilliant. I spent four weeks there and they gave me the help I needed to change things.”

Rosalynne said the support of her family and partner William also kept her focused, as did help from social work.

She has set a fundraising target of £100 for Sleep in the Park, which takes place on December 9.

“I am pleased to be supporting Social Bite in all the brilliant work it does with the aim of eradicating homelessness in Scotland,” said Rosalynne.

Josh Littlejohn MBE, co-founder of Social Bite, said Rosalynne’s resilience is an example to all.

He added: “Few people taking part in Sleep in the Park will have first-hand experience of sleeping rough. For someone like Rosalynne to have been through what she has, and to have bounced back, shows that a solution to homelessness can be found.

“The money raised on the night will be a huge step towards eradicating homelessness in Scotland and support a large number of people back into society, where they belong.”

You can support Rosalynne’s fundraising effort online at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=rosalynneforrest.

More information is available at www.sleepinthepark.co.uk.