Fundraisers from Excalibur Communications braved freezing temperatures for a charity sleep out on Friday, 18 January to raise £2,000 for the new Haven Centre run by Christian organisation Swindon Night Shelter.
Sleeping on cardboard and huddled in sleeping bags, the group of 17 bedded down in the company carpark outside Arclite House in Century Road - the fifth year that the company has raised funds and awareness for the homeless.
The money raised was match funded by the company's executive chairman James Phipps, to make a total of £4,000.
The new Haven Centre opened its doors to homeless clients when it launched officially on 2 January this year. The centre building has been leased to Swindon Night Shelter
The organisation's website outlines its mission: "At the shelter, we offer a hot meal, a chance to shower and wash clothes and a bed for the night. There’s an opportunity to relax, chat, receive advice about help and support in the week and hear God’s word."
Swindon Night Shelter hopes homeless clients will gain the skills and knowledge they need to navigate finding permanent accommodation and a job.
Excalibur CEO, Peter Boucher, said: “We wanted our night of discomfort to raise awareness of homelessness in Swindon as well as raise money for the Night Shelter, which does such fantastic work to support local homeless people. Homelessness is sadly rife across the UK and we, at Excalibur, wanted to do something to help those individuals who have ended up having to sleeping rough.”
Becky Davison from the Swindon Night Shelter, said: “We are very grateful for the money raised by the Excalibur Sleep Out for the new Haven Centre. As well as providing temporary shelter to homeless people, we aim to up-skill them and assist them back into the permanent accommodation and the workplace. This money will support many people to use the Haven. We have no regular funding and rely entirely on the generosity of donors and businesses like Excalibur, thank you.”