More than £20,000 in sponsorship has been raised for South Yorkshire youth homeless charity Roundabout thanks to their annual Sleep Out event, with funds still coming in.
The event, which took place oat 92 Burton Rd in Kelham Island, saw 80 participants bed down on the warehouse floor for a night, with some fundraisers choosing to sleep outside in zero degree temperatures to test their mettle.
While Sleep Out doesn’t truly replicate what it’s like to be lonely, frightened and homeless, the event gives participants an insight into challenges homeless people can face and enables them to make a real difference through sponsorship money raised.
Funds raised through the event, which was sponsored by Henry Boot and Sharp Consultancy, will be used to help Roundabout continue with their homeless prevention work, keeping young people aged 16-25 safe and off the streets.
Ben Graney, MD of Sharp Consultancy, said: “We were proud to be a part of the event, which was a memorable experience with great entertainment, food and company. I slept outside and made it through the evening by thinking about going home, but knowing that so many people don’t have that light at the end of the tunnel is a stark realisation that more needs to be done.
“Listening to the two young people whose lives have been saved by Roundabout was as inspirational as it gets, and really drove home the vital services the charity provides.”
Melissa Walsh, marketing and communications coordinator at Henry Boot, said: “We were honoured to sponsor the Sleep Out event and are proud to have been part of raising such a significant amount for Roundabout.
“Our team had a truly eye-opening experience and were inspired by hearing from those helped by the charity. Following an enjoyable evening of entertainment came the sudden realisation of what people have to face when they have nowhere to sleep.”
Tracey Jackson, Roundabout’s deputy CEO, said: “On behalf of Roundabout and all the young people we support we want to thank all our Sleep Out participants for leaving their safe, warm beds to help us raise money and awareness of our work.
“Our aim is that nobody under 25 should have to sleep rough, but to combat the increase in young people on the streets we have developed a Rapid Rehousing service, where our staff engage with young people and help them into accommodation so we can work with them to improve their circumstances.
“Since June we have had 28 young people referred to this service and demand is increasing. We know that Sleep Out can’t replicate homelessness, but it does make people think how scary it must be to have to brave the cold and other risks of sleeping rough. ”
Prior to trying to get some sleep, participants enjoyed refreshments, team-building exercises from Unbeatable Energy and speeches from Roundabout representatives and young people the charity has helped.
Roundabout has been supporting vulnerable young people in Sheffield for over 40 years by providing shelter, support and life skills. Through a variety of services, the charity aims to support and empower young people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, to learn the necessary skills they need to become independent