5 Black Cat employees braved the winter chill on the evening of Friday 9th March as they joined Huddersfield Town chairman Dean Hoyle and 194 more participants in Huddersfield Town’s Big Sleep Out. The challenge was to sleep under the stars, outside at the John Smith’s Stadium, home of Huddersfield Town Football Club.
The initiative was to raise awareness and funds for homeless charities based in Huddersfield. It was a massive challenge for everyone taking part because of the wintry conditions, however there was well over £40,000 raised altogether.
We asked our colleagues the reason why they took part and how things went on the night, comments below:
“I took part because I wanted to raise money for this amazing charity and to raise awareness for the growing number of homeless within our local area. It’s something visual, that I could relate to and was way out of my comfort zone. It really hit home when we were given only cardboard, a sleeping bag and a pillow. This is the extent of some people’s possessions and all they have in life! I felt honoured to be part of this and to be able to raise money to help the homeless to improve their quality of life.”
Alan Hindle, Finance Manager
I feel it’s important that we are socially aware of those less fortunate than ourselves and where possible offer some support. ‘The Big Sleep’ out was setup to raise awareness of the growing issue of homelessness within the UK and I felt this was a good opportunity for me to try and get involved and make a contribution, whilst taking myself out of my comfort zone. ‘The Big Sleep’ out gave me a small insight of how uncomfortable and cold it can be sleeping outside and how we take simple things like a safe, warm and comfortable bed for granted. Despite being with over 150 other people and in a safe environment, it was easy to see how isolating and scary it would be to sleep rough on the streets with nothing to protect you as you slept. A humbling experience and reminds me how lucky I am and how difficult some people lives are. Austin Brown, General Manager
The event organisers made it easy for us. We were in a safe place, with food, hot drinks and clean toilet facilities. Although it was cold and uncomfortable, it was just about bearable, but only because I could go home to my nice warm bed afterwards. I can’t imagine how people deal with it day after day. Judy Charlton, Health & Safety Manager
I didn’t get the best night sleep however I couldn’t complain as I knew it was only for one night. I had my nice warm bed and a shower waiting for me the following day. It really made me stop and think about how hard it is for people sleeping on the streets and it has certainly inspired me to do more to help the homeless in the future. Kate Gibson-Drury, HR Manager