LEEK United Building Society staff braved sub-zero temperatures to join football fans in a special ‘sleepover’ to help highlight the plight of North Staffordshire’s homeless community.
‘The Big Sleep Out’ was held on the floor of a freezing concourse building at Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium on Friday, 12th February.
It was aimed at raising awareness and funds for Brighter Futures*, a charity backed by the Stoke City Community Trust, of which Leek United is an associate community partner.
Society colleagues Clare Beardmore (Marketing & Products Manager), Dan Berrisford (Hanley Branch Manager), Paul Fergusson (Risk Manager) and Adam Sheldon (Macclesfield Branch Manager) took up the challenge, together with scores of Stoke City supporters, to spend the night huddled in sleeping bags.
The total amount raised by Leek United was £466.50, in addition to sponsoring The Big Sleep Out.
Clare said: “As a mortgage lender, we help people to buy homes; by taking part in The Big Sleep Out, we’ve been able to help people for whom a home of their own – and, sadly, sometimes even a roof over their heads – is very often out of reach.”
Steve Hunt, Stoke City Community Trust’s Fundraising Officer, added: “The ongoing support and help we’ve had from Leek United with this project and as an associate community partner has been tremendous.
“Altogether, we had 70 people taking part in The Big Sleep Out, in temperatures of around -2C to -3C. The wind really got up around 3.30am, and woke a lot of the folk who had managed to get off to sleep!
“But the event was a huge success, and one which we’re hoping to repeat next year.”
The Community Trust provided everyone taking part with a cardboard mat to sleep on in the Britannia Stadium’s Q-railing Stand concourse; hot soup and drinks were also provided for them throughout the night, with a hot bap at breakfast time.
* Brighter Futures provides assistance to people in North Staffordshire whose life chances – including their health, employability and social skills – have been affected by deprivation, low incomes and, in many cases, homelessness.
PICTURE CAPTION: Pictured (from left to right) at ‘The Big Sleep Out’ are: Steve Hunt, Stoke City Community Trust Fundraising Officer; Suzanne Carr, Vice-Chair, Brighter Futures; Clare Beardmore, LUBS Marketing & Products Manager; Stoke City fans Lynn Taylor and husband Richard Taylor.Back to news