12th March 2019 by Neil Barnes
Big-hearted business people from our local area will be swapping their suits for sleeping bags on April 11th.
They will be bedding down for a cold night outside to raise funds to fight poverty and homelessness in York. Benenden Health and York City Football Club Foundation are supporting the charity CEO Sleepout with their next “sleepout” at Bootham Crescent, the home of York City FC.
The work of the Foundation has been aided by their community sponsors, Benenden Health, who have shown their full commitment to tackling this issue. Three chief officers and 6 additional colleagues from Benenden Health are taking part in the Sleepout event and have awarded YCFCF a grant to enable the purchase of sleeping bags and food pallets. The aim is to establish more initiatives where people living on the streets can exchange their sleeping bags for clean ones. The food pallets bought through the grant will support the Holiday Hunger project; combating food poverty for families in school holidays.
Paula Stainton, YCFC Foundation Manager said, “Figures from Homeless Aid UK highlight a 170% increase in homelessness over the last two years. The rising number of rough sleepers and homeless people in our city is evident when you are out and about in the city centre. We have been blown away by what is taking place locally by volunteer led groups, and hope that our efforts will not only raise funds to support organisations like KEY (Kitchen for Everyone York), but also raise awareness of the scope of their efforts. There is a joined up approach across the city with groups such as Carecent, HOPING, Lunar Project, Food not Bombs and so many more.”
Emma Keef, CSR & Engagement Co-ordinator at Benenden Health adds “We are proud to support the Foundation’s work with the homeless and vulnerable across York. By working together we can help make a positive difference to peoples lives”
The Foundation has been campaigning around the issues of homelessness in our city since late 2017. They have been involved with collections for warm clothing and sleeping bags, and support from fans with their own fundraising. The Foundation has been able to make several donations of clothing and sleeping bags to various local charitable groups who work directly with rough sleepers; supporting them in so many ways such as street kitchens, breakfasts, outreach work, food parcels and personal health support. They have even supported with aid for their pets and provision of items to help them get on their feet in new homes.