08:00 Saturday 06 October 2012

Rough sleeping will raise funds for YMCA

Written byHELEN KREFT

EIGHT members of a quarrying firm near Burton are set to join the hundreds already signed up to sleep rough for the night for charity.

YMCA chief executive Paul LaffeySally Payne, internal sales manager at Bardon Aggregates, says she does not expect to be able to sleep when she and her colleagues take part in Burton YMCA’s annual Sleep-out next month.

Last year, the charity’s event raised more than £22,000 for the homeless in the area — smashing 2010’s £8,000 total.

This year, the YMCA hopes to be bigger and better, and already the Mayor of East Staffordshire, Len Milner, has said he will be bracing the cold November air, along with Burton MP Andrew Griffiths, and Burton Albion chairman Ben Robinson.

All those taking part on November 9, will be sleeping in the stands of the Pirelli Stadium — which is a change to the usual venue at Burton Rugby Club’s Peel Croft ground.

It is designed to raise funds to help the town’s homeless while drawing attention to demands on homelessness services which appear to be increasing.

Mrs Payne said: “I just mentioned I had seen the sleep-out advertised and said I had always wanted to do it and a few of my colleagues said well why don’t we do it?

“I decided to do it because we all take things for granted. Some people have no bed for the night and so this sleep-out is not a lot to give for one night to help others.

“We have already been saying how cold it is during the daytime so we are trying to imagine what it will be like at night. I know we are allowed to wrap up but we don’t expect to be comfortable. I can imagine we will be leaving at 6.30am and go home to our beds.”

Those taking part are asked to pay £10 and raise additional money, with a target of £125 through sponsorship. At midnight a soup kitchen will open, cardboard boxes will be handed out to sleep in and at around 6am breakfast baps will be served.

Paul Laffey, chief executive at Burton and District 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 sleep-out is one of the key ways in which we are able to do this, so we are appealing to as many people to come along and take part as possible.” Anyone who wants to sponsor Bardon Aggregates can contact Sally Payne by emailing sally.payne@aggregate.com

Anyone who wants to take part in the sleep-out can phone Gillian Cox, appeals co-ordinator at Burton YMCA, on 01283 538802 or 07969 990204, or email gillian.cox@burtonymca.org

Donations can also be made by visiting the Virgin Money Giving online and searching for ‘Burton YMCA’.

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