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Colleagues' sleep-out under the stars for charity

3rd July 2019

TWO Leek United colleagues spent a night sleeping out under the stars to help raise awareness of – and funds to help – homeless and vulnerable people in North Staffordshire.

Marjory Beech and Amy Morris, from the Society’s Hanley branch, took part in a 12-hour open-air sleep-out in aid of Stoke-on-Trent-based The Gingerbread Centre*.

They joined a dozen other volunteers for the 7pm-7am event, which was held overnight in the grounds of All Saints’ Church on Leek Road, Hanley.

And organisers are hoping it will have succeeded in raising more than £1,500 in total to help Gingerbread’s work.

“Bedding down out in the open, we could hear all sorts of noises from the surrounding area at all times of the night,” said Marjory, Deputy Branch Manager at Leek United’s Hanley Branch.

‘It really helped us to understand how vulnerable people must feel out on the streets, in all kinds of weather – although on this occasion, the weather was kind to us.”

Marjory and her colleagues at Leek United’s Hanley Branch have chosen the Gingerbread Centre as the focus of their community fundraising throughout 2019, and hope that customers will help to support them in raising as much as they can throughout this year.

Gingerbread Centre fundraiser Paul Deakin, who helped to organise the sleep-out, said: “The evening was a real success; people who took part have said they would do it again, so we’re already talking about a similar event next year.

“Our thanks go to Marjory, Amy and everyone else who took part for their support. Money is still being collected in at the moment, but we’re hoping to have raised a total of more than £1,500, which will go directly towards supporting the Gingerbread Centre’s work.”

*Established in 1977, The Gingerbread Centre was originally an Advice Centre for single parents, but in the 1980s recognised the need had changed and now provides 24-hour supported accommodation for homeless families, teenage parents and pregnant women from across North Staffordshire. 

The charity has two main facilities; Rothesay Court in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent supports homeless families, including single dads, and Catherine Court in Hanley is Gingerbread’s Teenage Parents Unit, providing supported accommodation for pregnant girls and teenage parents aged 16 to 19.

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