Turf Sleepout: Burnley charity leaders to sleep at Turf Moor

Helen Gauder, Neil Hart, and Stephen Buchanan at Turf Moor.
Helen Gauder, Neil Hart, and Stephen Buchanan at Turf Moor.
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The leaders of three local charities are to spend the night sleeping at Turf Moor in October to raise money and awareness for their Burnley-based organisations and of homelessness in the local area.

On Friday, October 12th, Chief Executive Officer of Burnley FC in the Community Neil Hart, Managing Director of SafeNet Helen Gauder, and Director of Emmaus Burnley and Emmaus Preston Stephen Buchanan will be taking part in the first ever Turf Sleepout event.

The event encourages participants to give up the comfort of their own bed for the night and commit to raising a minimum of £250 to be split three ways between BFCitC, Emmaus, and SafeNet Domestic Abuse Service for Jane’s Place Women’s Refuge, with business leaders from VEKA, Calico, Maintel, Spencer Hayes Group, and RKB Electrical already signed up to take part.

“This is a unique new initiative to shine a light on the rising issue of homelessness in our communities," said Neil Hart. "It won’t be an easy event to take part in but that’s the point – as well as raising money we want our fundraisers to gain a first-hand experience of what life is like for an increasing number of people in our region.

“We are determined to continue utilising the Turf Moor stadium in imaginative ways to benefit the community, above and beyond matchdays," he added. "The size of the stadium means this is the ideal space to run an event like this – there is room for plenty of people to take part so we’re urging as many people as possible to join us.

"We’ve already had a fantastic response to the event. A huge thanks to all those who have committed to joining us in October.”

Stephen Buchanan added: “The funds raised from this event will be vital in supporting our work at Emmaus Burnley. We support up to 30 formerly homeless people at any one time, providing accommodation and work-based training and volunteering opportunities.

"As an organisation that believes in the power of community, we hope local people will really get behind this new initiative to tackle the serious issue of homelessness.”

Helen Gauder said: “We’re delighted to be involved in this brand-new event at Burnley FC. Jane’s Place, our complex needs recovery refuge, offers safe and secure temporary accommodation for women and children at risk of domestic abuse.

"We will use the funds raised from this event to support our work with these women," she added. "We hope lots of business leaders and Clarets fans alike will join us and help us to make a difference.”

There is a £25 registration fee to take part in the Turf Sleepout and participants are asked to raise a minimum of £250. All funds will come to BFCitC and then split three ways. To sign up to take part in the Turf Sleepout, please visit www.burnleyfccommunity.org.