Basingstoke rallies together to stand against homelessness

Brave Newbury Building Society colleagues battled low temperatures, intermittent rain and howling winds in support of Julian House and the Camrose Centre, Basingstoke by sleeping in their gardens to make a stand against homelessness.

The Big Basingstoke Sleep-Out, which was postponed due to the first national lockdown of Covid-19 in March last year, encouraged families and households across the region to sleep-out for one night in their own garden on Friday 5 March 2021 to help raise vital funds for vulnerable people in the local community. 

The Society’s sleepers – Lisa Wedge, Ana Clarke, Cassie Newnham, Sara Pearce and Gorse Burrett - raised over £400 which the Society fund matched to total £882 – thank you to those who supported them! 

Ana Clarke, Customer Service Adviser at Newbury Building Society’s Basingstoke branch said: “It was a very, very cold night, but I enjoyed the Big Basingstoke Sleep-Out. I know that with our support we can make a difference in changing people’s lives by providing funds towards accommodation and helping people build confidence. We are so pleased with the donations raised!”

Lisa Wedge, Branch Manager at Basingstoke added: “It was a really cold night with a starry sky in my makeshift camp made of blankets in the garden. I’m not sure I slept at all but survived until the birds started to sing as dawn was breaking at around 6am.  That was my signal to go in and get warmed up with a hot bath and cup of tea and bacon butty. Not a luxury I would have if I was homeless, but I had a taster of how cold and uncomfortable it could be.”

The event continues to gain traction and is fast approaching a fundraising total of £10,000. The funds raised will support Julian House and The Camrose Centre provide life-saving services and support for men and women experiencing homelessness. 

Rachel Avent, Event Fundraiser for Julian House said: "We were blown away by the response we received for The Big Basingstoke Sleep-Out: At Home. After the disappointment in 2020, when we had to postpone the event due to Covid lockdown 1.0, we knew we had to adapt the 2021 Big Sleep-Out to an At Home event, in order to make it a safe way to bring our fundraisers together. A big thank you to our event sponsors, Newbury Building Society, who not only have supported us throughout the last year but also had members of their own staff sleeping out on the night!"

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