A “camaraderie” of fundraisers helped the director of a Wellingborough transit packaging company brave freezing temperatures for an all-night sleep out to raise awareness of homelessness.
Patrick Mulhall, Managing Director of PALLITE, based in Sinclair Drive, Park Farm North, successfully raised £1,130 for the Northampton Hope Centre by taking part in their Big Sleep Out recently.
He was sponsored to swap the comfort of a warm bed for a night with just cardboard to sleep on, a sleeping bag for warmth, and a plastic sheet for shelter from the winter elements.
He said: “I can thoroughly recommend the Big Sleep Out to everyone. It’s a great way to raise money and gain empathy of the conditions homeless people face, particularly at this time of year. There was a lovely atmosphere, the camaraderie amongst those taking part really helped people get set for the night. I want to thank everyone for their support.
“It makes you appreciate how tough it must be for those having to deal with living on the streets on a daily basis. We all need to do our bit to halt this.”
Patrick joined more than 165 other people at a specially designated area at Sixfields Stadium, home of Northampton Town Football Club, for the 12-hour stint from 7.30pm to 7.30am the next day. Early indications show this year’s participants have collectively raised approximately £50,000.
He hopes more people will join in next year and has plans to create a PALLITE community shelter to encourage people to take part.
Hope Centre CEO, Robin Burgess, said: “The Big Sleep Out night felt much colder than the temperature suggested so we are extremely grateful to everyone who stayed with us and braved the cold and damp.
“We really hope that, although we pushed a lot of people out of their comfort zone, it really made them appreciate what it is like to be homeless.
“If you know someone who took part but haven’t sponsored them yet, please do. They really did earn it.”
The Big Sleep Out helps to raise awareness of homelessness and the work of the Northampton Hope Centre. Last year £60,000 was raised and went towards supporting the work of the shelter, which provides showers and a warm place for people to visit and enjoy a hot drink. Other work includes helping people find volunteer roles and employment.