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Society's second 'Big Sleep Out' at stadium

17th February 2017

LEEK United Building Society staff braved freezing temperatures to join football fans in a special ‘sleepover’ for the second year running to help highlight the plight of North Staffordshire’s homeless community.

‘The Big Sleep Out’ was held on the floor of a cold, draughty concourse building at Stoke City Football Club’s bet365 Stadium on Friday, 3rd February.

Society staff and supporters bedded down in sleeping bags and blankets under the Q-Railing Stand, along with Potters icons Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin, former Stoke City Manager Lou Macari and ex-midfielder Carl Beeston.

Sponsored by Leek United and organised by Stoke City Community Trust - of which the Society is an associate community partner - the event was aimed at raising awareness and funds for the Macari Foundation, a charity set up by the ex-Stoke boss in 2016 to help bring homeless people off the streets.

Leek United colleagues Clare Beardmore, Deb Bree, Paul Fergusson, Michelle Prince, Dave Riley, Simon Round and Lorraine West were among 100+ people taking part – and for some, it was a ‘return fixture’.

“We took part in the first ‘Big Sleep Out’ in February last year – and unfortunately, the concourse building hasn’t got any warmer, especially at night!” said Clare, the Society’s Head of Marketing & Sales.

“As a mortgage lender, Leek United helps 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.”

Everyone hoped to raise £100 each for the Macari Foundation, which opened the £150,000 Macari Centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, last year. The centre provides homeless people with hot meals, showers, a change of clothes and a roof over their heads at night.

The Community Trust provided everyone taking part with a cardboard mat to sleep on; hot soup and drinks were also provided for them throughout the night, with a hot bap at breakfast time.

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