Staff from a Yorkshire estate agency are reaching out into the community over the festive season with the biggest programme of support in its 21-year history.
The team from Linley & Simpson are aiming to deliver a sackful of Christmas cheer to a raft of charities and good causes – including help for homeless people.
Three charities that aim to improve the lives of rough sleepers will benefit – from Leeds-based St George’s Crypt, Harrogate Homeless Project, to SASH (Safe and Sound Homes) in York.
The initial donation from the agency, which has 11 branches across North and West Yorkshire, is supporting the charities in different ways.
It has helped volunteers at St George’s Crypt to fill the Christmas stockings of over 50 homeless people this Christmas – the charity strives to make Christmas as fun as possible so its people get a break from all the troubles in their lives.
Harrogate Homeless Project is currently looking for extra sleeping bags, and has used the initial donation to buy 25 of them for rough sleepers.
For SASH, whose focus is on helping young homeless people, the initial gift has helped 27 of them have an escape from homelessness this Christmas.
The agency is also raising awareness of the needs of Yorkshire’s homeless community, especially at Christmas, by promoting these link-ups through door drops, social media and email.
Over and above the initial donation, every extra market appraisal generated in December will result in an extra £25 gift to the charity in that location.
The support will build on the money raised by two Linley & Simpson colleagues, Leeds city centre branch manager Lauren Sayles and colleague, Amy Norman (senior sales negotiator) who took part in this year’s Sleep With Simon event in the city.
The duo joined hundreds of others in sleeping out in the open in Tilt Yard in the Royal Armouries as part of the biggest fundraiser of the year staged by homeless charity Simon On The Streets.
Martin House Children’s Hospice at Boston Spa – the agency’s chosen charity partner – is also a key benefactor of the Christmas fund-raising campaign.
Volunteers from the agency will be out in force with collection buckets for the Bradford City home match against Oxford United on Saturday November 24, as the football club kicks off its own charity partnership with Martin House.
Teams from its Harrogate, Wetherby, Ripon, Horsforth and Saltaire branches are once again selling Martin House Christmas cards at various markets and Morrisons stores across Yorkshire and are hoping their efforts top last year’s, when over £2,000 was collected.
Meanwhile Lynne Taylor, the agency’s Accounts Manager and Associate Director, will be donning a red suit and white beard by taking part in the Santa on the Run event staged in Wetherby by Martin House on Sunday December 2.
The Martin House fund-raising events will culminate with the company’s annual Christmas jumper day and photo competition which takes place on Friday December 14.
Other festive fund-raising events scheduled this year include:
- Mission Christmas – the agency is supporting the Radio Aire Cash for Kids Mission Christmas appeal, with nine of its branches acting as a drop-off location for presents and a gifts for disadvantaged and ill children across the region.
- Saltaire Inspired – Linley & Simpson is sponsoring the Living Advent Calendar, which has been a feature of the village since 2006, for the first time this year. It will also have a window in the display, which sees houses and buildings across the community lit up.
Emily Wilkinson, Linley & Simpson’s Customer Services Manager, said: “Thanks to the enthusiasm of colleagues, this year marks our biggest – and most ambitious – festive fund-raising campaign.
“While it is a joyous time for many, it is also very difficult and stressful time for disadvantaged and less fortunate people in our community and those with serious illness, particularly children and young people.
“We hope the series of initiatives that are in place across our whole network of offices will go some way to improving the lives of such people over the festive season and spread some Christmas cheer wherever possible.”
Linley & Simpson’s branches can be found at Leeds city centre, Roundhay, Horsforth, Chapel Allerton; Harrogate, Ripon, Wetherby, York, Ilkley, Saltaire and Wakefield.