A West-Yorkshire based homelessness charity has announced the headline sponsor of an upcoming lockdown-friendly fundraising event.
Simon on the Streets, which offers support to rough sleepers and vulnerable people across Bradford, Leeds and Kirklees has partnered with law firm Weightmans to support Simon’s Big Sofa Surf.
Residents and businesses alike are invited to virtually join the charity and Weightmans to bed down on a sofa or floor for the night of 27th November to highlight sofa surfing as a hidden part of homelessness.
With more than 70,000 sofa-surfers across the country, Simon on the Streets advises that sofa surfing is the largest form of homelessness. The lockdown restrictions from Covid-19 have seen many of these people turn to the streets without the option to find a sofa to sleep on.
People are encouraged to get involved and raise sponsorship with all funds going towards Simon on the Streets’ essential work in the region, which includes street-based support for people affected by homelessness, which continues throughout the pandemic.
Weightmans’ Leeds office has supported the charity since 2018, taking part in the annual sleepout in 2018 and 2019 as well as being the headline sponsor for its annual business event, the Rough Diamond Ball, in 2019.
Based at Westgate Point in Leeds city centre, Weightmans provides a full range of legal services, to the public sector, businesses, and individuals in the UK.
Regional head and partner at Weightmans Helen Brown commented:
“We are proud supporters of Simon on the Streets and the work the charity conducts. The charity makes a huge difference to people affected by homelessness in West Yorkshire and we are delighted to be able to help our local community now more than ever. We are looking forward to gathering our team together virtually and help keep the charity’s essential work going.”
Simon on the Streets’ CEO, Natalie Moran said:
“Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have seen us working with more ‘hidden homeless’ clients whom we may not have had the opportunity to support before, particularly those who have been sofa surfing and, due to the pandemic, were asked to leave without any other options. We were continuously out there during the first lockdown and continue to be out there during lockdown 2.0.
“As an organisation, we’ve had to be innovative in planning lockdown-friendly activities to bring in essential funds needed to keep our important work going, this has been due to our flagship events being cancelled and there being less opportunities for our corporate sponsors to raise funds for us.
“To have Weightmans on board as our headline sponsor for this event is fantastic. Weightmans has been a generous supporter of ours over recent years and we’re truly grateful for all they continue to do for us to continue combatting the issues of homelessness.”
Throughout the evening, participants are encouraged to share their pictures and stories across Simon on the Streets’ social media platforms using the hashtag #SimonsBigSofaSurf.