Fast-growing retailer, Mattress Online, has joined forces with a Yorkshire charity working to end the alarming problem of bed poverty among children in the UK.
Mattress Online has signed a three-year charity partnership with Zarach a Leeds-based charity that supports families living in poverty to access beds, bedding and other household essentials.
Zarach was founded in 2018 by Leeds-based teacher Bex Wilson after she discovered a child in her class didn’t have a bed and was sharing sofa cushions with siblings on the floor.
The charity now partners with schools, manufacturers, and companies like Mattress Online, to distribute beds and basics to families in need.
On the recent partnership with Mattress Online, Bex explained: “Mattress Online believes that sleep is a right for everyone, not a privilege, and we are delighted to have their support as a corporate dream maker.
“Through this partnership and by providing ongoing support and equipment donations, Mattress Online is ensuring that Zarach can continue to help as many children as possible.”
Steve Adams, CEO of Mattress Online, said: “Every child deserves to have a clean and supportive bed of their own.
“Sleep affects our mental and physical wellbeing and is important in a child’s physical development. It’s vitally important we support Zarach as they strive to break the cycle of bed poverty.
“When we talked to Bex and began to understand the scale of bed poverty, we were shocked.
“Work with Bex and the team has already begun. We recently delivered a donation of much-needed beds, mattresses, and bedding, to several families in desperate need of those vital basics and we look forward to helping more families going forward.”
Bex Wilson, a deputy head teacher at an inner-city Leeds primary school, founded the charity after repeatedly encountering hungry children who were living in poor conditions.
“Children being hungry or not having a bed is unacceptable,” said Bex. “Whilst teaching an 11-year-old boy, I noticed he was scratching his tummy. He told me he and his younger brother shared a cushion to sleep on – a cushion that had bed bugs which made his tummy itchy.
“At the time I was in the middle of teaching a lesson on irregular tense verbs. I realised I had a choice – to be satisfied that I’m teaching him grammar because it’s what I’m paid to do, or to continue to be the best teacher I can be whilst also using my time and influence to make sure every child in our city has their basic needs met.
“That includes getting a good night’s sleep and an equal opportunity to get the best education at school.”
Since founding the charity in 2018, Bex has overseen the donation of more than 1000 Bed Bundles, which have a retail value of more than £500 each.
More than 100 partner schools have joined Zarach’s referral network and 10-15 referrals are made each week.
Head of marketing at Mattress Online, Annaliese Curtis, added: “We’re passionate about working with Zarach. Many of our team members are parents and understand how important it is to have a comfortable environment for children to sleep, grow and thrive.
“Here at Mattress Online we’re committed to playing our part to help end bed poverty.”