A West Yorkshire-based print management business has raised £4,000 for homeless charity Simon on the Streets, after organising a ‘sleep out’ at The Hepworth Gallery Wakefield.
Debbie Melton, founder and managing director of Wakefield-based Red Media, planned the town’s first rough sleeping event to raise funds for the independent charity, which has been providing support to the homeless since 1991.
Thirty volunteers attended on the night, bringing with them a cardboard box and sleeping bag.
Starting at 7pm until 6am, the ‘sleep-out’ also offered volunteers the opportunity to speak with Simon on the Streets’ outreach workers who were able to talk about the challenges faced by the homeless.
Simon on the Streets is an independent charity, working with local people who are affected by homelessness and rough sleeping in Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield. The organisation offers street-support to individuals who have complex needs and cannot access mainstream services, due to behavioural issues or mental illness.
Commenting on the success of the event, organiser Debbie Melton said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the turnout at the Wakefield sleep-out and astounded by the level of support from volunteers.
“The event was incredibly successful and all involved are extremely proud of the funds we were able to raise for such a worthy cause. Hopefully, the Leeds sleep-out in September will also prove a success in raising the necessary support for Simon on the Streets.”
Simon on the Streets’ general manager Gordon Laing said: “We’re delighted by the amazing support we’ve received from Red Media and from all those that attended the sleep-out in Wakefield. The final total is outstanding and we cannot express our gratitude enough. Homelessness is a real problem in city centres in West Yorkshire and the kind support we receive from individuals and organisations is key in tackling this.”
A further sleep-out will take place in Leeds on 28 September. Volunteers can sign-up to take part at http://simononthestreets.co.uk/fundraising/events-list/sleep-with-simon-2017/.