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Gloucestershire Business News

‘Jump’ at the opportunity to SleepOut for charity in 2020

Plans for a second fundraising and awareness event, CCP SleepOut 2020, have been announced by Gloucestershire charity Caring for Communities and People (CCP).

The event hopes to see up to 100 business and public sector leaders sleep out within the grounds of the world-famous Cheltenham Racecourse (not during this week's Festival, in case you were wondering).

This year's event will take place on Wednesday, October 7, in the build up to World Homeless Day on October 10.

The CCP SleepOut 2020 also hopes to help raise awareness of the issues facing people with no home and sleeping on the streets.

By raising funds, CCP can tackle the problem by directly supporting people onto existing homeless pathways, complementing existing rough sleeper initiatives, and ultimately getting people into sustainable accommodation following an alert from Streetlink.

Each of the participants will challenge themselves to raise at least £1,000 to sleep outdoors in as genuine conditions as possible and go to work the next day as normal.

Cordell Ray, chief executive of CCP, said: "We are hugely excited about this year's event. Our last CCP Big SleepOut in 2018 at Gloucester Rugby Club, saw 63 people take part and raise over £60,000 and we hope to build on that this year.

"By gathering together high profile business and public sector leaders in this way, we plan to highlight the plight of the homeless, help move people away from a life on the streets but also give those participating just a taste of what it is like to have to sleep out overnight.

"We are immensely grateful to Ian Renton, the Jockey Club, and the team at Cheltenham Racecourse for allowing us to use this iconic venue."

David Owen, chief executive of GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership, and one of the Gloucestershire business leaders already 'in the bag' for october's event, said: "The 2018 Big SleepOut was a huge success, not just financially but also in transforming the lives of many of those it helped.

"When Cordell asked if I would support this year's event, I had no hesitation in agreeing to take part.

"Even one person being homeless is one too many and anything we can do to highlight their plight has to be a good thing. CCP are doing some amazing work preventing homelessness and the money we raise will I am sure be put to very good use.

"Whilst you cannot fully replicate what it is like to sleep rough in an exercise like this, those of us who took part in 2018, were surprised how difficult it was to sleep, despite conditions being mild for that time of year."

CCP is also keen to hear from businesses that might want to get involved by sponsoring the event.

"SleepOut represents a unique opportunity for businesses to associate themselves with a high-profile event and put their brand in front of a very select audience, said Mr Ray.

"We will be working hard to ensure that any business sponsoring us gets a good return on their investment. The sponsorship will underwrite the costs of the event and any surplus will add to the proceeds that go towards the work we do with the homeless.

"Supporters of the 2018 event, OLPRO, the Outdoor Leisure Products retailer has already pledged their support for which we are immensely grateful.

"We will also take the opportunity on the night to discuss with businesses/participants other opportunities such as employment/training opportunities, supporting people to set up home once moved away from the streets, through practical support and activities to address social isolation."

CCP is encouraging anyone interested in taking part to get in touch. More information about the event can be found on the SleepOut section of the CCP website - www.ccp.org.uk/BigSleepOut.

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