On Thursday December 6, Harrogate’s business community took part in a planned night of sleeping rough at Ashville College in order to raise money for local charities such as Harrogate Homeless Project and Changing Lives.
Over 30 of Harrogate’s business leaders swapped their bedrooms for the great outdoors as they donned their sleeping bags and braved the harsh seasonal weather in order to raise money to fight poverty and homelessness.
The event was organised by CEO Sleepout Charity, a national organisation which has raised over £2million for charitable causes since its formation in 2014.
In a statement for Yorkshire Voice, CEO Sleepout event organiser Bianca Robinson said: “I’m humbled to see the incredible response from the business community in Harrogate.
“Harrogate is an affluent town but inequality is still prevalent. Homelessness may be hidden, but still exists. Foodbanks are stretched to their limits.
“Even so, Harrogate’s businesses have stepped up and have shown that the town cares about its most vulnerable people and I have no doubt that it will grow to become a fixture in the business calendar.”
Everyone who traded their suits for sleeping bags pledged £1,000 to fight homelessness and poverty in Harrogate, with further fundraising helping bolster the already considerable amount raised.
Harrogate’s biggest fundraiser at time of publication is Ashville College’s director of marketing, communications & alumni relations, Nicola Stamford, who raised £1,406.
While the night out was a far cry from the comfort the participants are used to, it still pales in comparison to the plight homeless people across the county face on a daily basis, a point Bianca Robinson made certain to highlight.
“We know what we do will never come close to the fearful experience of a rough sleeper,” Bianca said. “But we raise awareness, lots of funds and we ask busy people to give up their warm bed, home comforts and time to help others. And that’s a great thing!”