The Big Sleep Out

Big Sleep Out 2016


At CCR we occasionally have a saying #dosomethinguseful; it’s purpose, to motivate. Well, so it happened, this November, we decided to not just say it, but to actually put it into practice by highlighting an important issue that affects many cities and towns, including our own, Birmingham. Here Stormborn, one of our dedicated and brilliant NSO’s gives us a rundown of an important night on the town:

So, who are St Basil’s and what do they do? Basically, they work with young people 16-25 year of age who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless throughout the West Midlands. They can offer supported accommodation and support services to ‘break the cycle of homelessness’. I do St Basil’s Sleep Out because it’s a great experience and because I work with 16-25 year old myself and can understand how young people can find themselves homeless. This could be a result of family breakdown, overcrowding at home or leaving the looked after system. Some will need accommodation from St Basil’s in one of their many placements around the midlands. But St Basil’s also support young people with family mediation, they run a life skill programme all of which can help give young people the tools to build a brighter future for themselves, something I advocate for in my work life.

Our beautiful home!

On 25th November a group of CCR took part in St Basil’s Big Sleep Out at Birmingham Cathedral. This involved building a shelter out of cardboard, tape and plastic to protect us from the elements as we spent the night outside. This was my 6th year that I had taken part, it was the 2nd for Boots Manuva, Mad-Eye Lou-Bee and Gryffinbrawl and we were joined by two newcomers Sarah Farrell and Lakshnie Natasha.
This year we took our build more seriously and all lay on the damp grass to get measurements for our structure. Thankfully weather was on our side so no rain and only the odd gust of wind that had us chasing loose bits of cardboard that hadn’t been taped down yet around the cathedral. As you would expect half way through the building process we took a break to enjoy hot chocolate and cake. Once we were refreshed we finished our build and added some fairy lights, as you do! They were done just in time to go inside the cathedral for the St Basil’s presentation. So far we’d had some proper giggles but now we were reminded why we were all there. Some brave young people stood up in front of a large crowd and talked about the circumstances which led to them being made homeless and needing the services of St Basil’s.


Setting up our home for the night

After the service the 6 of us went back outside (at around midnight) and prepared to settle down to try to sleep. The experience wasn’t supposed to imitate what it is really like for anyone who is homeless, we were doing it through choice. We had home comforts that we had bought with us, we were protected by security and once it was all over we get to hop on the bus, or in the car and go home. The one thing I noticed though, was that it was very hard to sleep with so much noise around, revellers staggering home from a night out, no stop traffic and other ‘sleepers’ who decided not to be quiet. By about 2am it felt at its coldest but strangely enough, that when I managed to fall asleep, all tucked up all snug in my sleeping bag and sandwiched between 2 of my shelter sharers. At 5 in the morning we were all awake again. We demolished our structure and put it in the recycling. That was it, all over again for another year.
This was the first time doing the Sleep Out at the cathedral which made the experience feel very different but it showed how much the event has grown ,that the St Basil’s car park is no longer big enough to shelter the many hundreds of participants. Plus the scale of the stunning cathedral made our shelter look teeny tiny. The joy of returning to my own bed, it was peaceful, I didn’t feel claustrophobia from the many layers of clothes I needed to sleep out, it was soft and it was mine. I am so lucky to have one.
It’s been great looking back and watching all our sponsors roll it. So far, we have raised £1,124. If you would like to donate there is still time, follow the link
Alternatively, I would urge you to find your local charity/organisation and see how you can help people in your areas. Many people are currently looking forward to the festive period but just remember some are not so lucky to have a home or family to share this time with.

Thanks to CCR friends and families for supporting us!


Finally, I just want to thank everyone who has supported us, to St Basil’s for putting on such a great event and my fellow CCR sleepers for sharing the experience with me. So same again next year???


More information can be found on their website

Photos courtesy of

JAMdemic! Oct 29th – 30th 2016



Doug Ellis Sports Centre.

One of the last remaining outposts.

A virulent disease has broken out across the roller derby community, turning skaters into blood thirsty Zom-B’s. WFTDA has declared a major Jamdemic.

Six teams of specialists from across Europe have declared their commitment to finding a cure for the disease. The virus is spreading fast and they have only 2 days in which to plan their strategy, use their strengths and skill and secure the sought after antidote trophy. Only one team will be victorious.

Who will save humanity?

This Halloween, Central City Rollergirls present their annual B Team Roller Derby tournament. The event started in 2014 with a one day tournament and has now grown into a bigger, bolder tournament across two whole days. This year the tournament is called JAMdemic and will see 6 teams from across Europe battle it out for supremacy! Last year’s winners London Rollergirls Batter C will return to defend their title but the other teams won’t be making it easy for them. Announced so far we have Tiger Bay Brawlers B, Leeds Whip Its, Brussels Roller Derby Pixies, Central City B Team, and one more to be announced.

Come join in on the fun! It’s a family friendly event, with roller derby, stalls, raffle, and so much more. Tickets are available here:

JAMdemic! Roller Derby Tickets

If you would like to nso or ref please click here:

NSO or REF Application

Road to Playoffs 2016


Tournament season is upon us again and the annual pilgrimage to Championships showcases some of the fiercest competition seen in the sport. Derby fans the world over tune in at all hours to share the joy and heartbreak of their favourite teams. We have already seen some stellar match ups from D2 and D1 events and with 3 playoffs weekend remaining there is still so much to come.

Playoffs & Champs Tournament season is very much the pinnacle of the officiating calendar too. The very best in the world assemble to showcase their talent and to oversee fair play and game flow for several weekends of the year.

This playoffs cycle sees CCR Official Metal Ed attending his second D1 playoffs and representing the UK in Vancouver. With nearly 6 years of high level officiating under his belt and no stranger to making history, Ed will be the first British skating official to have made the pick for D1 playoffs for two consecutive years.

We caught up with Ed to ask him a few questions about his upcoming travels:

  • As an Official how do you get to be selected for Playoffs?

It’s not easy, building up a reputation as a good official is always a good start, so I’d recommend travelling and getting your name out there. It’s easier said than done as it can be a very expensive journey! Building up to sanctioned play but knowing where and when to move up to the next level is also important; moving up too far too fast can leave you treading water and not performing well which can hurt your chances of advancement.

  • Are you looking forward to Playoffs this season?

Yes! It’s always a nice high level of play that’s very challenging and rewarding. To be able to get to go two years running feels very accomplishing.


(Photo Credit – Roller Derby on Film – Jason Ruffell. )

  • Do you have any tournament survival tips/things you swear by at events?

If you’re not on first, watch the first game as a crew, it’ll help get in the right frame of mind, help the crew get to know one another and to watch and discuss incidents on track to ensure consistency and good metrics. Eat well (don’t rely on sweets!) and stay hydrated. I like to sit down in the quiet after a particularly loud or busy game, just helps me to decompress and relax.

  • Do you have any predictions for who we might see progress to champs?

I don’t usually do predictions, but the brackets make for some very good match ups!

  • You’ve a had lot of success over your Officiating career, what advice do you have for any aspiring officials out there who want to get to tournaments like Playoffs?

Travel, help get your name out there and start building up a reputation for yourself. Unfortunately for playoffs it means heading to America to officiate, so future CHRs and THRs can see you in action and not make assessments from paperwork.

From all of us at CCR we want to wish Ed all the best for Vancouver and D1 Playoffs this year! We know he’ll be fab.

You can catch all the action and join us in cheering Ed on from the 16th of September.

Tournament information:

Live stream link: