Staff from Hinckley & Rugby Building Society are to sleep out in their car park in Hinckley to gain an insight into the plight of people facing homelessness and to raise money for local charity partner Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland.
Sixteen staff members from the Society’s Hinckley head office and its branches will sleep out overnight on Thursday December 5. They will be joined by volunteers from Emmaus, which provides a home and meaningful work in Hinckley for formerly homeless people.
The sleep out is taking place during the week when the World’s Big Sleep Out is taking place in several countries, with an expected 50,000 taking part to raise awareness and funding for homelessness charities.
The Hinckley & Rugby sleepers will include chief executive Colin Fyfe, who said:
“Our Building Society exists to help people buy houses, so we’re acutely aware how precious homes are to all families and how important secure housing is to their wellbeing.
“Through our partnership with Emmaus we also understand the devastating impact losing your home can have, with many people losing hope of ever regaining that sense of safe shelter. It’s why we are so keen to help shine a spotlight on the issue and to support the charity.
“We will only be giving up our cosy beds for one cold night in the open and will no doubt count our blessings the next night in our warm homes. And I’m sure we will be even more motivated to help those people who do not have that certainty in their own lives.”
This autumn Hinckley & Rugby launched a new Charity Assist Mortgage, which homebuyers can choose knowing they will be helping homeless people move into a home and full-time work. The Building Society donates £250 to Emmaus for every Charity Assist Mortgage.
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 work in the charity’s shops as they get themselves back on their feet. Some stay for a few months, others for longer.
Mir Juma, chief executive of Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland, said: “We’re very grateful to staff at Hinckley & Rugby Building Society for taking on this sleep out challenge. With homelessness numbers continuing to rise, it means a lot when local people take time to experience sleeping out in the cold, with no place to call home.
“Their efforts will also be raising vital funds to support our work and helping us continue to offer formerly homeless people a roof over their heads.”
Hinckley & Rugby has set up a Just Giving page for donations in support of its sleep out. The details are at: justgiving.com/fundraising/emily-challoner