Staff from Hinckley & Rugby Building Society have raised more than £3,000 for the homelessness charity Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland by sleeping out for a night in the Society’s car park in Hinckley.
Sixteen staff members from the Society’s Hinckley head office and its branches were joined by Emmaus staff and formerly homeless people Emmaus supports. They all bedded down for a night which saw rain fall as they dozed in sleeping bags.
The initiative was designed to provide an insight into the plight of people facing homelessness and to raise money to support the work of Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland in providing a home and meaningful work in Hinckley for formerly homeless people.
The Hinckley & Rugby sleepers included chief executive Colin Fyfe, who said: “It was only one night for us, but even then I felt the cold getting into my bones. To sleep out night after night must drag you down so deep.
“It has certainly strengthened our resolve to do as much as we can to support Emmaus, which does such good by helping people get back on their feet again.”
Michelle Tong, trainee team leader in Hinckley & Rugby’s mortgage department, had the idea of the sleep out for Emmaus after working on the development of the Society’s Charity Assist Mortgage, which generates a donation to Emmaus for each mortgage taken out.
Michelle said: “It was a small sacrifice to sleep out for just one night but we hope it raises the profile of Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland and also much needed funds. It did rain at times, bringing home to us what people face when they have to sleep rough every night whatever the weather.
“It put into perspective what having the security of your home, warmth and food means, knowing that you are not going to be hurt, verbally abused or have your belongings stolen. The donations so far have been amazing and I am so happy that we have had this opportunity to help support the excellent work of Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland.”
People helped by Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland are referred to as companions and live at Elm Lea in Hinckley, a former hotel where each has their own room and bathroom. Whilst with Emmaus, companions help to run the charity’s shops.
Matthew Taylor, operations manager at Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland, said: “We are thrilled at the amazing amount raised by the efforts of kind staff at Hinckley & Rugby – it’s an early Christmas gift.
“Every penny will help us continue our work to provide safe accommodation and support for people who need it most. As a Hinckley-based homelessness charity, it means a lot when a local business goes above and beyond to support us in this way.”