Building materials supplier Southern Sheeting has raised £800 for homeless charity Crawley Open House during a Big Sleep Out earlier this month, tripling the original target of £250.
A total of 10 employees, including managers, drivers, sales, administrative and yard staff slept outside in the yard at the East Grinstead business, with nothing but cardboard for a bed, to raise money for the charity and to raise awareness about the challenges faced by homeless people. The team only had two hours of sleep as the temperature dropped to minus figures and they woke up to ice on their belongings.
Tony Hobbs, Southern Sheeting’s Managing Director, said: “As a business which supplies roofing materials, putting a roof over people’s heads is very close to our hearts, as is supporting a local charity which does amazing work.
“After spending the night sleeping outdoors, we all have a new understanding of how hard it is to get a good night’s sleep, which is vital to be able to cope with the challenges life throws at you.”
“We’re very pleased to offer our support again to Crawley Open House. We’ve always been struck by their dedication and compassion as they help residents and day-centre guests to move forward on their path to recovery and independent living.”
This builds on Southern Sheeting’s recent fundraising efforts for Crawley Open House when the team raised £6,000 by taking on a 50km hike across an SAS training ground in the Brecon Beacons in Wales.
Crawley Open House has been providing support and services for those suffering the effects of homelessness, unemployment, loneliness, discrimination, or other forms of social exclusion for 40 years. Every night, the hostel at Crawley Open House houses 24 people. The average length of stay in the hostel is six to seven weeks during which the staff works closely with the residents and partner agencies to address some of the issues that made the residents homeless such as financial and unemployment problems, trauma and other mental health issues, addiction, relationship crisis or even physical health problems.
The Big Sleep Out is an annual event to raise awareness about homelessness and to raise funds to support the charity’s work for those experiencing homelessness locally.