Over 40 intrepid volunteers camped out in the grounds of Harrogate Town AFC’s CNG Stadium to raise funds and awareness for youth homelessness charity, SASH.
Volunteers took part in the first ever Harrogate Sleepout, spending the night under the stars in the stadium with just a sleeping bag and cardboard box for shelter.
The event was supported by Harrogate energy company CNG, with many employees taking part. Abi Aldred said: “Sleeping out was a real challenge for me. It was almost impossible to sleep as my mind was constantly focused on the cold, you really couldn’t escape from it. I was lucky to have the right equipment, be in a secure place and have the support of my colleagues.”
She added: “It has been a real eye opener for me and I really hope it has helped to generate awareness of the vital work SASH does.”
SASH organises emergency homestay accommodation for 16 to 25 year olds, offering a safe place to stay for vulnerable young people facing sleeping on the street.
Sainsbury’s Harrogate supported the event on Saturday March 22, which raised over £2,000, providing hot breakfasts for the volunteers who faced temperatures as low as 2 degrees overnight.
SASH Director, Peter Robinson, said: “We feel very fortunate to have had so much help from Harrogate businesses and individuals. Having access to the football ground and commitment from two large employers in the area has made all the difference to making the event a success, and the involvement of many others who heard about our work and wanted to support us was equally very much appreciated.
“The Sleepout has raised over £2,000 so far and we are confident this will reach over £3,000 once all the sponsorship has come in.”
On the night, volunteers were treated to hot drinks, cookies and brownies thanks to Cathy McConaghy of Lulabelle’s Camperlicious and Harrogate Mayor Mike Newby paid a visit to the volunteers.
Visit www.sash-uk.org.uk or call 01904 652043 for more.