The heavy wind, rain and chilly conditions on Friday evening gave 200 fundraisers sleeping in the LV Britannia Rescue stand at the John Smith’s Stadium a true reflection of the challenges faced on a daily-basis by some members of society.
It was the second-ever Big Sleep Out hosted by the Town Foundation with over 200 people sleeping rough for the night on Friday 8 March 2019 to raise money for local homeless causes.
Participants slept on cardboard kindly sponsored by BMP Packaging between the rows of seats in the LV Britannia Rescue stand or on the concourse on the eve of Huddersfield Town’s Premier League game against Bournemouth.
Last year’s Big Sleep Out raised over £55,000 with 100% of the funds raised being used to support 10 local charities. Funds to date show that circa £40k has been raised already this year with further amounts coming in daily.
The first wave of participants arrived at 8:30pm on Friday evening primed with sleeping bags and warm clothing before signing in and making their way to the stand to prepare their makeshift beds for the night.
Once settled, Town Foundation CEO Siobhan Atkinson addressed the fundraisers thanking them for their efforts and wishing them good luck for the challenging evening in-store. She also reiterated the reasoning behind the event and reminded the fundraisers that this isn’t a ‘one night’ challenge for some members of society.
Fundraisers eventually bedded down for the night at around midnight and it was no easy task by any means. Temperatures dropped as low as four degrees with strong winds and heavy rain making it that bit more challenging!
At 5.30am, people started to rise and were served a breakfast buttie before heading off home. They all left having had a little taste of what sleeping rough can be like with the event providing a powerful reminder of the daily challenges faced by the homeless.
Bastion Estates, Jay-Be Smart Sleep and BM Packing played a pivotal role providing sponsorship in the form of funds and resources for those taking part – Huddersfield Food Service, Haighs Farm Shop and Exertis Supplies also provided helpful resources that helped the evening run smooth.
Siobhan Atkinson, Town Foundation CEO commented:
“Football clubs are like families; Huddersfield Town are no different and all the people that are here tonight are showing their compassion for people who are less fortunate than themselves.
“That they are prepared to undertake sleeping out for one night shows great kindness and the monies raised will help immensely. I’m really proud that the Club and the Town Foundation work together to support local causes and address the issues faced by our community.”
Steph Potts, One of the Fundraisers at the event added:
“This was the second time I’ve done the Big Sleep Out, I did it last year and it was really fun and really cold. There was a few of us that did it last year doing it again and we’re looking to raise more awareness and funds for homelessness in this area, but also support the work of the Town Foundation.
“It probably went down as one of the worst night’s sleep I’ve had; that’s with having young children as well. It was cold, noisy and I’m sure it thundered at some point. But we’re lucky as we get to go home to a nice warm bath and a nice warm bed.