Around 80 people braved the cold to help raise more than £10,000 for a homelessness charity in Leamington.
Last Friday (November 17) volunteers, members of the public and staff from local businesses all took part in Helping Hand’s third ‘sleep out’ event.
Helping Hands helps and supports those who are homeless or vulnerable in the Warwick District.
The sleep out involves participants sleeping outside on the grounds of All Saints’ Church in Leamington to give them an insight into the conditions faced by the homeless.
Steve Atherton, who is taking on 56 challenges in a year to raise awareness for the district’s homeless, also took part.
Lianne Kirkman, from Helping Hands, said: “We had 80 people taking part in our sleep out and so far we have raised £12,501.43.
“The event was a real success but we would love even more people to be involved next year.
“I would like to thank Just-Inspire Events, Psl Distribution for lights and the projector, Forever Living for two pallets of cardboard, Kier Edmunds from MCS Construction for printing, laminating and equipment and soldiers from Kineton Barracks who helped build dens.
“I would also like to thank; Leamington BID, CJ’s for security, Warwick Ambulance Association for providing a crew, All Saints’ Church, Pancho Catering who provided hot food, Coffee Architects for cakes and nibbles, Tesco on the Parade for providing hot drinks, Alex Harvey from Infinite Pixel for photos and filming, the Helping Hands Band, the Steel Pan Academy and the Sing it Loud Choir who provided a flash mob performance and other songs.
“I would also like to thank our speakers Elaine Howard from Warwick District Council, MP Matt Western, Sgt Chris Kitson from Warwickshire Police, Margaret Moore from Leamington Night Shelter and Alex from Homegroup.
“I also want to thank our amazing team of volunteers and clients.”
Helping Hands will also be opening a cafe in Smith Street in Warwick, which will be a public cafe open to everyone.
Lianne said: “We are opening a cafe in Warwick in January and really looking forward to it.
“Its going to be a public cafe but we will be training and offering new skills to people we support to help them back in to work.
“We will be using donated food that would have otherwise gone to waste and welcoming local chefs and cooks to get involved to be a part of this project.”
To donate to the sleep out fundraising page click here.