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It’s no secret homelessness in the UK is at crisis point.
The number of available beds in shelters has plummeted, charities have undergone funding cuts and local councils have been forced to tighten their money belts. This means more people than ever before are struggling to maintain a roof over their head.
In its latest homelessness monitor, national homelessness charity, Crisis UK, reported the national total of people sleeping on the streets has increased by 169% since 2010 and by 15% since last year. A worryingly rapid increase has been seen in the South of England (outside of London) – towns in which Newbury Building Society’s branches are located - with rough sleeping figures 194% higher in 2017 than reported in 2010.
These figures do not consider statutory homelessness and hidden homelessness.
Needless to say, something has to be done. This is why we are taking part in this year’s #MortgageSleepOut.
What is #MortgageSleepOut?
#MortgageSleepOut aims to bring together the mortgage industry in one united voice to raise awareness of the growing plight of homelessness across the UK. The event was launched by Rob Jupp, CEO of Brightstar Financial and Maria Harris, director of intermediary lending at Atom Bank, and has already generated lots of positive media attention with over 500 participants signing up in the first month alone.
The event will raise vital funds to support End Youth Homelessness (EYN), a collection of UK-based charities working with young people who may be living on the street or in danger of becoming homeless.
Why have we pledged our support?
On the 30th November 2018, employees of Newbury Building Society will leave their beds behind to proudly support and represent vulnerable people living in and around our ten branch towns by spending the night in a frosty field.
Below, a handful of volunteers reveal their reasons for abandoning the comfort of their home for a night sleeping in the street:
“Homelessness in the Newbury area is a growing problem. The lack of resource and support available to help individuals I pass on a daily basis is heart-breaking. It’s unacceptable that we live in a world where people do not have the simple luxury of having a safe and secure roof over their head. That’s why it’s important we pledge our support and help in any way possible.” - Emma Simms, Marketing and Communications Manager
“As a building society, we’re a mutual organisation and therefore, we’re owned by our members and have a lot of involvement with local communities. Our central hub is Newbury and we’re seeing more and more homeless people on the streets here, and so it’s important we use our platform to raise awareness for those without homes and work towards an end goal of abolishing homelessness. I’m taking part myself as I think although a lot of us will see a homeless person and wish we could do more, without actually being in that situation yourself, you don’t fully understand what they’re going through. I’m sure the sleep out will make me appreciate the things I take for granted.” - Alice Pocock, Business Development Manager
“Here at Newbury Building Society we promote ourselves as being part of the community and I think by taking part we are showing that we not only take an interest in those who walk through our doors, but also care about those who are less fortunate or who have fallen on hard times. The reason I am doing this is because I am fortunate enough to have a roof over my head, clean clothes and food on the table. Giving these up for one night may not make a lot of difference, but if we can all come together we may be able to start chipping away at a problem that is right on our doorstep.” - Amba Garlick, Business Improvement Analyst
“I hope taking part raises further awareness of the growing issue of homelessness in the UK as no one should have to sleep rough. Nobody chooses to end up on the streets and the fact it could happen to anyone really makes you think. If taking part in the event can help highlight the issue and help just one person in need, then it would be a step in the right direction.” - Alice Dearlove, Apprentice Marketing Assistant
“I think it is important for the Society to take part in this event to show our support for the homeless in our local community. I am taking part to challenge myself and to also help the Society to raise as much money as possible for this cause!” - Lauren Troy, Mortgage Underwriting Assistant
“I feel it's important for the Society to take part in this event as we all acknowledge that nationally, there is a growing issue of homelessness and locally we see this too. Newbury Building Society is synonymous with Newbury and has been for a long time so can use its status to highlight the issues of those that are homeless here and raise funds through sponsorship to help those that need it. I'm challenging myself to be uncomfortable for one night in support of charity that can change people’s lives and make a difference. When dawn breaks after spending just one night sleeping outside, we can all go home but for the homeless waking up after sleeping outside again, it’s just another day. Hopefully, the donations we raise can make another day different.” - Sarah Rouault, PA to Executive Directors
"I think it’s important to take part in #MortgageSleepOut to try and help raise awareness about youth homelessness, and homelessness in general, in a time where it is becoming increasingly more difficult for young people to save enough for a deposit, and where people are being priced out of the areas where they are from, work or rent. For Newbury Building Society to take part is showing that it, as a mortgage provider, is aware of this issue and is doing something about it!” - David Ward, SQL Support Analyst
We need your support!
If you would like to support this year’s #MortgageSleepOut and donate, please visit our JustGiving page for further information. No matter how small, every little counts.