Turf Moor sleepout raises thousands for homeless charities
A group of hardy souls braved the cold and spent the night pitchside at Turf Moor to raise awareness and money towards homelessness in Burnley and beyond.
On Friday evening 65 fund-raisers camped out at the home of Burnley Football Club and raised more than £23,000 in the process.
The annual "Turf Sleepout" event aims to raise funds for Burnley FC in the Community, homelessness charity Emmaus Burnley and SafeNet Domestic Abuse Service for Jane’s Place, with fans and businesses from across Lancashire including VEKA, Burnley Council, BBC Radio Lancashire, O2 Communications and Tesco Burnley, taking part.
Donning warm layers and with only cardboard and a sleeping bag for comfort, on the night leaders from each charity offered fund-raisers an insight into each organisation’s work, supporting homeless people in the region.
Funds raised from the event will be split equally between each charity, with Burnley FC in the Community using their share to run the town centre foodbank which has distributed over 3,000 food parcels since it opened its doors in November 2018.
Emmaus Burnley support hundreds of companions who have experienced homelessness, with funds helping individuals to go out on trips, enjoy activities and purchase basic needs including toiletries.
The organisation also operates a charity shop in Rochdale, fully staffed by companions and aims to help get individuals back on their feet by offering training, support and work in the shop.
Meanwhile, funds raised help SafeNet Domestic Abuse Service to support many traumatised children and young people living with the charity in safe refuge, providing 1:1 therapeutic sessions, small group work, crèches and trips out to help children recover from their experiences of living with domestic abuse.
Neil Hart, chief executive, said: “I am delighted with the incredible support we received for this year’s Turf Sleepout. We were joined by a fantastic number of fundraisers on the evening, more than last year, and there was a real community spirit and camaraderie on the evening.
“The Turf Sleepout aims to raise both funds and awareness of the important issue of homelessness, an epidemic that is gripping the streets of our towns.
"The official statistics surrounding homelessness are distressing. We teamed up with Emmaus Burnley and SafeNet to raise money to help those affected and we’re delighted so many people joined us in our mission on a cold November night.”