Leeds Big Sleep In raises amazing total for vulnerable people

More than £16,000 has been raised by the Leeds Big Sleep In for three local charities helping to support vulnerable people throughout the city.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions this year’s sponsored sleepout took place virtually on Friday night- with participants encouraged to sleep in the most unusual and uncomfortable place they could find around the home.

From camping out in the back garden to sleeping on top of a drum kit or a treadmill in the garage, more than 80 people gave up a night of comfort in order to raise much-needed funds for Leeds Rhinos Foundation, St Gemma’s Hospice and St George’s Crypt.

Participants were able to enjoy a fantastic evening of virtual entertainment, including a live quiz, bedtime stories and an exclusive Q&A with Leeds Rhinos first team players Konrad Hurrell and Luke Gale. The duo were also joined by Rhinos legend Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who showed his support for the event by sleeping out in his garden on wooden seats from Emerald Headingley Stadium’s old North Stand.

Not only did the Big Sleep In raise vital funds but it also raised awareness of the many issues that are faced by homeless people, especially during the harsh winter period.

Gareth Cook, Head of Community & Engagement for Leeds Rhinos Foundation, said: “We are overwhelmed by the support we have received for our virtual take on the Leeds Big Sleep.

“At first we were a little unsure if the event would work in this format, but thankfully any doubts were well and truly quashed and there was still a real community feel to the event.

“Conditions on the night were far from ideal and for some of those involved who were exposed to the elements it was a real eye-opener to what homeless people have to go through in the cold, wind and rain. It was a powerful reminder of why we do this event and we all came away feeling very emotional and proud of our efforts.”

“Raising over £16,000 in these uncertain times is a huge achievement and will go a long way to supporting three Leeds charities with continuing their work to make positive differences on the lives of some of our city’s most vulnerable residents.

“We never underestimate the generosity of people in digging deep to provide support for the Foundation’s work, along with the Crypt and the Hospice, so a huge thank you to everyone who donated.”

You can still show your support for the Leeds Big Sleep by making a donation at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/displayCharityCampaignPage.action?charityCampaignUrl=LeedsBigSleepOTN.

For more information about the Leeds Big Sleep, please contact cheryl.harrington@stgeorgescrypt.org.uk.