Sign up for next year’s Big Sleepout to raise money for Northampton Hope Centre

Last year's Big Sleepout for Northampton Hope Centre at Christ Church churchyard
Last year's Big Sleepout for Northampton Hope Centre at Christ Church churchyard
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People are being urged to sign up for next year’s Big Sleepout organised by Northampton Hope Centre.

The sleeptout is being held this year at Northants County Cricket Ground and will take place on Friday January 29.

Last year's Big Sleepout for Northampton Hope Centre at Christ Church churchyard

Last year's Big Sleepout for Northampton Hope Centre at Christ Church churchyard

A spokeswoman for the hope centre said it was a fitting venue for sleepout.

“Northants Cricket Club has supported the Hope Centre throughout 2015 as their Charity of the Year, so this is a fitting end to their collaboration. To show their continued support their captain, Alex Wakely will lead a team from the cricket club who will be taking part in the Big Sleepout.”

Another high profile participant will be Councillor Mary Markham, leader of the Northampton Borough Council. Councillor Markham said: “The Hope Centre provides food, clothing, warmth and shelter to some of the most vulnerable people in our community and I am delighted to show my support in such a practical way. But that’s not all, the charity also provides health, social and training services to help clients rebuild their lives, improve self-esteem and develop new skills.”

The spokeswoman urged others to join them.

“You can support them by taking part in the Sleepout itself, individuals and groups are all welcome, or by sponsoring those who are braving the cold for a night.

“The Big Sleepout has become one of the Hope Centre’s biggest annual fundraising events and last year raised an impressive £28,000 for the charity through generous sponsorship. There were 79 sleepers on site whilst a number of Guides and Scouts Groups held their own sponsored Sleepout events on the same night in aid of the Hope Centre.”

Sue Wright, from the Hope Centre added: “All sponsorship raised from the Big Sleepout will go directly towards the support we provide to local people who are homeless, disadvantaged or otherwise in need of a helping hand.

“This year we would like to increase the funds raised from the event as the costs of running the Centre and providing our additional support services are increasing year on year. Since the end of 2014, we have seen a 10% increase in the number of people who need to access our services each day with little sign that this trend is slowing down.

“If we can persuade more individuals and company teams to take part in our fundraiser at the County Ground it would be a tremendous boost. Our target this year is to have 100 sleepers - with such enthusiastic support from the cricket club team we think we can make it a Century! We would also like to encourage even more youth groups to participate by organising their own Sleepouts (or Sleepins!) in aid of our charity.

“For those who are hungry, homeless or do not to have a secure place to live, it can be a very lonely, depressing and isolating experience. January is the coldest time of the year and participating in the Big Sleepout really brings home just how difficult it would be if you had to survive like this every day of your life,” she added.

If you would like to join the Sleepout you can call the Hope Centre on 0845 519 9371 or email fundraising@northamptonhopecentre.org.uk (pre-registration is essential) alternatively you can sponsor the sleepers from the comfort of your own home by donating at www.justgiving.com/bigsleepout2016.