VOLUNTEERS willing to sleep rough for a night are being asked to raise awareness of the real problems racing the homes by taking part in a sponsored Sleepout.
Burton YMCA’s 5th annual Sleepout is taking place in the stands at Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium on Friday, November 8, and is designed to raise funds to help the town’s homeless while drawing attention to demands on homelessness services that appear to be increasing.
Paul Laffey, chief executive at Burton YMCA, said: “We are fortunate in Burton to have a number of excellent facilities that provide help for the homeless and the opportunity for them to get back on their feet.
“However, funding these facilities means that we have to raise money continually and the sleepout is one of the key ways in which we are able to do this.”
Last year, around 110 people took part, including schools and businesses such as Holy Trinity Primary School, Waterstones, Orbit Housing Association and Roger Bullivant while local dignitaries such as Mayor Len Milner, Andrew Griffiths MP and Ben Robinson, chairman of Burton Albion, also slept rough.
Those taking part are asked to pay £10 and raise additional £100. At midnight a soup kitchen will open, cardboard boxes will be handed out and at 6am breakfast baps will be served.
Among other services, previous sleepouts also helped to fund the YMCA’s Reconnect centre, in James Street, which provides emergency short stay accommodation, training and support for homeless people in Burton.
Paul added that demands on Burton’s homelessness services are increasing.
He said: “The Reconnect project has been full since it opened and more people turn up and ask for help all the time.
“Certainly, the current, grim economic picture is likely to have an impact on homelessness levels and there is every chance that we will see the problem continue to grow around Burton over the coming year, so fund-raising is very important.”
Further information is available by phoning Gillian Cox on 01283 538 802/0796 999 0204 or emailing email@example.com