Sleeping 'rough' at Harrogate RUFC in aid of local homeless community

Players, coaches and officials from Harrogate RUFC will be sleeping rough next month in a bid to raise money to help the local homeless community.

Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 2:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 2:57 pm
Harrogate RUFC chairman Iain Salkeld. Picture: Caught Light Photography

Chairman Iain Salkeld and director of rugby Dave Doherty are among a number of club members who will be joined by Gareth Barber of BMI Duchy Healthcare and Ralph Zoing from Harrogate Wealth Management in spending the night outdoors at the Stratstone Stadium on March 12.

“Harrogate RUFC is passionate about caring for our community, and helping people achieve their potential,” said Doherty, who is sleeping rough in aid of charity for the second time.

“For various different reasons, people find themselves in the very difficult position of having to sleep rough.

“This is a is incredibly challenging position, not just in terms of the immediate needs of shelter, warmth, food and money but also the psychological strain.

“We aim to help provide some hope and support for those struggling, so they can regain control of their situation.

“With the CEO Sleepout event on the 12th we are firstly looking to raise awareness of the very real problem of hopelessness in Harrogate and secondly with the donations be able to offer support to help people get back on their feet for the long term.”

Funds raised on the night will be used to help get homeless people in the Harrogate area back on their feet via the Harrogate Homeless Shelter.

“Our input is two-fold,” explained Barber.

“There is a higher-than-normal percentage of ex-soldiers and members of the armed forces that are homeless. Having served in the forces its a big issues for me personally and especially from the mental health perspective.

“From the BMI Duchy perspective, our input is due to our wish to help people to improve their health and wellbeing.”

Harrogate Wealth Management director Zoing added: “There are many reason why people end up homeless.

“One common reason is as a result of of a relationship breakdown. It can happen to anyone and the consequences can be catastrophic.

“At the same time during the inclement months it is a great time to highlight their plight and raise awareness.”