Birmingham’s biggest SleepOut shows city has heart for plight of homeless

Over 900 Brummies are set to take part in Birmingham’s largest ever BIG SleepOut fundraiser tomorrow night 25th November in the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral in the heart of the city, in aid of Birmingham based youth homelessness charity St Basils. The charity has been overwhelmed by this years’ response from the local community and attributes this to caring Brummies becoming more concerned about this issue in recent years.

Thanks to sponsors Jaffabox, 900 cardboard boxes are being donated free and will be dropped off on site on the afternoon prior to the event so that participants can build the cardboard dwellings they will be sleeping in overnight. Previously this event has been held in Digbeth, Birmingham at St Basils HQ but thanks our partners who have gifted us the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral we can hold this year’s event in Birmingham city centre, creating quite a spectacle in the city, raising more awareness.

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A selection of images from last year’s sleepout

St Basils aims, where possible, to help prevent youth homelessness in our region, advising and assisting over 5000 young people at risk of homelessness per year and housing 1200. The charity aims to break the cycle of homelessness and the money raised from this event will go towards supporting it’s services including helping young people gain the skills they need to get back into education, training and employment so that they can move on successfully, breaking the ‘No home, no job, no home’ cycle of homelessness young people can so easily become trapped in.

The charity believes it is this message that has attracted so many people to the event this year which has hosted Birmingham’s largest SleepOut for many years but has had a maximum of 440 participants previously. Birmingham is a caring city and having one of the largest populations of young people, it is a sobering thought to think what would happen if services like those St Basils provide to prevent youth homelessness didn’t exist.

St Basils believes a whole city approach is needed to resolve this issue for future generations so it’s wonderful the whole community has come out in support of this event with school children and community groups building their boxes alongside big business MDs, local councillors and Mayoral candidate Andy Street.

“As a proud Brummie who is passionate about improving the opportunities of young people and the future of this region, I feel this is an important event to take part in. I’m hoping to help raise money and awareness for St Basils vital services preventing youth homelessness and helping young people who have become homeless to move on with their lives.” – Mayoral Candidate Andy Street

Barrie Hodge, Head of Fundraising and Communications at St Basils said:

“The response this year from the local community has been absolutely phenomenal. It has exceeded all our expectations.

We’re hoping this event can raise a record amount too so that we can extend our reach and ensure we can help more young people. Previous years this event has raised as much as £92,000 which is fantastic, but it is hoped that with so many more people taking part £100K or even more could be achieved this year, meaning we can ensure that all young people at risk of homelessness in our region can get the help they need.

Registration has closed for this event but you can still donate to the cause via: www.stbasils.org.uk/donatenow or texting ‘ROOM41 £Amount’ (from £1 – £10) to 70070.

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