This Friday night hundreds of West Yorkshire residents and families will participate in a fundraising event with a difference, when they pitch tents and camp out in their gardens in a major ‘sleep in’ to raise money for local charity, Simon on the Streets.
The longstanding Leeds based charity supports homeless and vulnerable people throughout Leeds, Bradford and Kirklees. Its team of six full time outreach keyworkers provide emotional and practical support and are currently incredibly busy, out on the streets, ensuring the most vulnerable can eat and access accommodation, as well as advising on precautions to reduce the risks of contracting Covid-19.
‘The Little Sleep In’ starts at 8pm on Friday 1st May 2020 and anyone wanting to participate can download a fundraising pack from Simon on the Street’s website that contains decorative bunting, instructions for building a tent and guidance on creating a JustGiving page for sponsors. With no minimum fundraising requirement, the event is already attracting families, couples, children and individuals, as well as groups sleeping in together ‘virtually.’
Throughout the evening, participants will also be able to share their pictures and stories on Simon on the Streets’ Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages and using the hashtag #littlesleepin.
Fahad Khan, development manager at Simon on the Streets, said: “This will be a brilliant event to participate in and as far as we’re aware, it will be the first ever fundraiser of its kind. Participants can sleep anywhere in the home, apart from in their own bed. We’re encouraging people to be creative, which is what lots of homeless people have to do every night, so for those that don’t want to camp out, they could even build a den in their lounge to sleep in or spend the night in their garage.
“As an independent charity we rely solely on fundraising events, as well as our supporters and corporate sponsors, to survive, but nearly everything has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which is having a significant impact on our finances and how we work.
“This all comes at a time when our work is more important than ever, and we are doing all we can to ensure the most vulnerable people in our society stay healthy and alive in these difficult times. This means explaining why hand hygiene and physical distancing is particularly important, and we’re also delivering food parcels and water, giving out antibacterial products, offering emotional support and working with homeless people to access emergency accommodation.
“The ‘Little Sleep In’ will be an extension to our renowned annual sponsored sleepout, where people spend the night under the stars in a city centre location. Our sleepouts have raised tens of thousands of pounds in recent years and are a mainstay in Yorkshire’s annual fundraising calendar. We’re hoping to replicate this success with ‘The Little Sleep In’, which is already appealing to a wide audience and is an opportunity to have fun and make a genuine difference during the current lockdown.”
Anyone wanting to participate in ‘The Little Sleep In’ should visit Simon on the Streets’ website to download a fundraising pack or call 0113 3452270.