For this year’s Leeds Big Sleep In we saw some incredible efforts, with people throughout the city answering our call to find the most unusual and uncomfortable place around the house to sleep in.
The virtual sleep in helped raise a grand total of £17,750 for Leeds Rhinos Foundation, St Gemma’s Hospice and St George’s Crypt, which will support the work of the three charities in tackling homelessness and making a positive impact on the lives of people in the local community.
Alongside all the virtual entertainment and fundraising, there was also the chance for participants to win some great prizes by entering our exclusive competitions.
Well done to Ashleigh Eltringham, who was randomly selected as the winner of a signed Leeds Rhinos home shirt in a draw alongside each participant which achieved more than £100 of fundraising.
Congratulations also go to Diane Moore, who was chosen as the winner of a signed Leeds Rhinos ball for choosing the most unusual sleeping spot. Diane raised an amazing £382.50 for the three charities by sleeping in a pop-up car in her back garden, with only a makeshift shelter shielding her from the evening’s adverse weather conditions.
Speaking about the experience, Diane said: “It was definitely an interesting night’s sleep. I think I scared the life out of the milkman when he delivered next door just after 6am, as I was dragging myself out of the car, soaking wet and cursing to myself about how badly constructed my shelter was.
“I got involved with the Big Sleep this year as I wanted to help out as much as I could because I know COVID has prevented a lot of funds being raised for these three great causes. It was all worth it in the end, and I’m very thankful to everyone who sponsored me.”
Tracey Mearns, Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Business Development & Partnerships Manager, added: “We were overwhelmed with the unusual ways participants choose to sleep out for this year’s Leeds Big Sleep In; a skip, bath, treadmill, cardboard tent and garden bench were just a few of the places so it was a difficult decision to choose an outright winner.
“When Diane sent her photos to us of a child’s pop-up car that she had decorated with lights and tried to insulate in her garden we agreed it was a really strong contender. In the end we decided it was not only a unique place to sleep, but she also braved the elements all night in a confined space to help raise awareness of homelessness, which is what this event is all about.
“A huge thanks to both Diane, Ashleigh and all those that took part in our virtual event, your fundraising has been incredible and has made a huge difference to Leeds Rhinos Foundation, St George’s Crypt and St Gemma’s Hospice, as well as the lives of some of our city’s most vulnerable people.
“Keep following us @LeedsBigSleep on social media for details of the fifth Leeds Big Sleep event back on the terraces of Emerald Headingley Stadium later this year!”
For more information on the Leeds Big Sleep, or how you can get involved with fundraising for Leeds Rhinos Foundation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.