White Horse Surveyors are again looking forward to getting involved in the annual Threshold Link Sleep Out on Friday, 11 December.
The team will spend the night under the stars in an effort to raise funds to help the Swindon charity combat homelessness - and some horses will join in.
Headed up by Michael Keenan, Threshold’s Chief Development Officer, the annual event is designed to raise awareness and funds for those in Swindon who are sleeping rough. Last year nearly 180 people took part and raised over £20,000 for the charity.
The event this year will be a little different from the large event hosted last year in Swindon, but the team from White Horse Surveyors have plans to ensure that it is still
memorable and fun for the team. Some will be camping out in their gardens for the night, while one will be sharing a field with their horses.
Elizabeth Graney, Marketing Manager for White Horse Surveyors, said: “There is no lack of enthusiasm for the night, even though it will be a little different this year.
"My daughter and I thought we would sleep out with some of our horses to make it a little different. We will be taking photos and video throughout the night and have several fun challenges planned to keep us as warm as possible!
"We know this year it will not only be cold but also muddy so that will prove an extra challenge.
"Of course we will be able to go home afterwards, though, to warm up, dry off and clean up, unlike those that are currently homeless.”
James Powell, Marketing Assistant for White Horse Surveyors, said: “I’m so happy that White Horse Surveyors are once again taking part in this year’s Big Sleep Out for Homelessness. Last year’s event was a fantastic occasion that not only raised lots of money for a great cause but was also a fantastic opportunity to stand in solidarity with those in less fortunate circumstances than us.
"Although this year’s will inevitably be different, I’m delighted that the team at Threshold has continued their incredible work - supporting such an important issue."
Threshold says it has been a particularly challenging year for many people, and most charities have struggled with fundraising without the normal events they would have to support them.
That means the sleep out is especially important this year for Threshold as it enters one of its most challenging times of the year - not to mention a great opportunity for the team at White Horse to also support one of their chosen charities when most normal charity activity is restricted.
White Horse Surveyors' work is ultimately to support individuals to get their own home. However, this year people have been challenged by furlough, redundancy and mounting debt with some losing their homes.
Michael Keenan said: “For over 48 years, Threshold has made a meaningful difference to the lives of so many homeless people and at present, during this most unprecedented, dangerous and challenging time, continuing to provide our unrelenting frontline support is absolutely critical to those experiencing homelessness.
"Now more than ever before, the public solidarity with our mission and their financial fundraising that supports our work is so very crucial to helping us to continue to deliver care, over and above what could normally be expected in any given year.
"We’re asking people to ‘Sleep Out to Help Out’ within your support bubbles. It is very much an experiential event, where for one night only we place ourselves in the shoes of those that are street homeless.
"It’s going to be a little different, but perhaps even a little easier for people to get involved with us this year. We’re encouraging people to join us in solidarity, not from a dedicated community venue like we’ve done in previous years, but this year from within their own support bubbles.
"It could be that people join us with their families by making an impromptu fort and sleeping out in their back garden, in their garage or even sleeping in their lounge room, but with the radiator off - sleeping out in any permissible support bubble that ensures people are safe.
“Over recent years we’ve seen lots of families join us. Mums, dads and carers have been registering in growing numbers with their children. They tell us they enjoy the experience with their children in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
"It illustrates to them how lucky and fortunate many of us are. Perhaps to eat a meal together and go to sleep in a nice warm house in a nice warm bed, but this is not the case for so many in our communities.
"This year we’ve got families with children as young as six joining us and our most mature participant is 88. So it truly is a wonderful all of life event.
"We are hoping to share this invitation across all great communities in this great region”.
Support can be registered at https://www.thl.org.uk/events/thresholds-big-swindon-supporting-the-homeless-bubbles/ and people can join a Facebook event @THLSwindon.