A annual sponsored sleepout has raised a record-breaking £30,000 for a Northampton-based centre which supports homeless and vulnerable people in the town.
A total of 98 people braved freezing and rainy conditions to take part in the sleepout at Christ Church in Abington, Northampton on January 31.
It is the sixth year the fund-raising event has been held and the total raised has smashed the previous record of £20,000.
Sue Wright, Community Fundraiser at the Northampton Hope Centre, said: “These desperately-needed funds will be put towards our everyday running costs as we provide hot food, clothes and other support services for homeless or disadvantaged adults in the town.
“We are very grateful to the businesses, organisations and everyone who took part in and helped raise money for this year’s Big Sleepout.
“In particular we would like to recongise the support of local companies who supplied food, cardboard and thermal socks, including Co-op, Asda, Sainsburys, 3663, Heat Holders, The Park Café, and the Parish Priest and Church Council at Christ Church, who kindly allowed us to use the churchyard and parish rooms.”
Among the people who took part this year was Councillor David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, and deputy leader Councillor Mary Markham.
Councillor Mackintosh said: “Mary and I took part in the Big Sleepout last year. Experiencing a little of what it means to be homeless and spending the night talking to people who were either homeless or had been homeless was an eye-opener for me.
“Each of the stories I heard that night have stayed with me. Homelessness can so easily affect anyone of us. Everyone who sponsors this event will be making a contribution to what is a very worthy cause.”