Parents live on roof, braving cold and rain, to raise money for neighbors

They’re still home — just higher. 

This mother and father have slightly changed their residence as part of a crowdfunding stunt.  

Hilary Powell and Dan Edelstyn, both 45, have altered their living arrangements in an effort to raise money: The artist couple has moved their bedroom furnishings to the terraced roof of their London abode in a campaign to supply their block with solar panels. 

“The bed itself is strapped onto the chimney and the mattress has straps on,” Powell told Kennedy News and Media of the setup. “We had two standard lamps, but they’ve gone down for maintenance because one snapped in half from the wind and one went down the sloping roof.” 

Their current accommodations — which they occupy from dusk ’til dawn, save for certain daily chores — are similar to “being on board a ship,” Powell offered as a comparison. During the day, they work at a desk that they’ve also installed atop their house, all while at times battling rain, wind and plummeting temperatures. 

Their goal is that their antics will encourage folks to donate to their cause, which is “to create a renewable power station across the rooftops of our East London streets, and then outward from there.” 

power station roof life fundraiser
The pair brought a desk up so they can work from the roof during the day.
Kennedy News and Media
power station roof life fundraiser
Hilary Powell and Dan Edelstyn dragged their double bed and two standard lamps onto the roof of their terraced house earlier this month.
Kennedy News and Media
power station roof life fundraiser
The couple is shown on level ground.
Kennedy News and Media

Initially, they aimed to remain on the roof until they raised $59,000, but they’ve since met that figure and are now seeking to double it, which they anticipate will take about a month. Their 10- and 12-year-old children, meanwhile, continue to occupy the main house below. 

Although unusual, roof life has been generally quite tolerable, although the weather has been challenging, the parents report. Neighbors have been supportive, shouting up words of encouragement, and the pair consider what they’re doing art in and of itself. 

“There’s been a bit of bad weather. We couldn’t cope up here if it got much more gale-y or thundery; it’d just be dangerous,” said Powell, adding, “It’s something out of the ordinary and magical and joyful — that’s important, too, amid all the gloom.”

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