On Friday 10th November, eight members of the BearingNet team took part in the annual St Albans Sleepout hosted by local Hertfordshire charity, Herts Young Homeless.
It was a very cold night with clear skies and temperatures dropping to 0 degrees Celsius, and although we were grateful that it didn’t rain, the clear skies meant that it was literally freezing cold, with condensation forming on the sleeping bags and other materials we had laid down in preparation.
The ground was hard, there were many noises (including someone’s very loud snoring – mentioning no names!) and our sleeping bags were damp as the sun rose (we even had to de-ice the cars before driving home!). But despite all of this, it was a very enriching and enlightening experience, allowing us to get a tiny glimpse of what life is really like for people who have no choice when it comes to sleeping rough. Plus, we were lucky; we had lots of layers and sleeping bags; imagine sleeping in that temperature in just one layer of clothing!
We are thrilled to have raised a huge £1,641.25 including gift aid, bringing the overall event total to an incredible £48,964! A big thank you to all the kind sponsorship we received.
The team also had the choice to either receive a hyh hoodie for every £350 raised, or purchase one tonne of carbon to support renewable energy projects. Of course, carbon was the way to go! Therefore, Herts Young Homeless purchased four tonnes of carbon on behalf of BearingNet, making an even bigger difference. The Sleepout was responsible for planting 57 trees and 42 tonnes of carbon overall, which is a brilliant result for everyone.
BearingNet Managing Director, Nicola Beer, who took part in the event said:
“Did I enjoy the Sleepout? No! Am I pleased we did it? Absolutely!
BearingNet gives all of our staff members 2 days of volunteering a year, and with 15 staff at BearingNet, this is a full month that we commit to charity work, and it’s a really good way to do it!
Most individuals are running a home, working a full week and have very little spare time to give to charity. But by their employer giving them volunteer days it means they do have time to give back to the community and I think all companies should do this.
We all have a responsibility to help others less fortunate than ourselves. This doesn’t always have to be by raising money and constantly asking for donations, in a lot of instances your time is more valuable than the cash.
I hope someone reads this and decides to try it out – Google local charities, send them an email saying you would like to give your staff some volunteering time and they will gladly send you a list of everything you can get involved in (and they will be extremely appreciative of your support!).”
If you would like to donate to this very worthy cause, you can do so by clicking here.
You have the opportunity to double your donation to Herts Young Homeless between 28th November – 5th December to make twice the impact prior to the festive period with the Big Give Christmas Challenge.
Who are Herts Young Homeless?
hyh is an independent charity and has been supporting vulnerable people in Hertfordshire since 1998. hyh has a variety of FREE services open to all 16 – 24 year olds who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. They also have a Health Service which has no upper age limit.
Homelessness can be defined as being without permanent, stable, or suitable accommodation. Besides rough sleepers, this includes those who are ‘sofa surfing’ with friends and extended family or living in hostels. It is certainly not a lifestyle choice.
Find out more about Herts Young Homeless and the work that they do here.
A HUGE thank you to everyone who donated to support the BearingNet team and Herts Young Homeless with the annual St Albans Sleepout.