Manchester residents and businesses swapped their beds for sleeping bags last night to fundraise for the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint.
200 people braved the cold and spent the night sleeping on the floor in the iconic Victoria Baths, collectively raising £65,000 – £15,000 more than last year’s inaugural event at London Road Fire Station.
Money raised at last night’s event will help Centrepoint to continue working with over 2,000 young people who are affected by homelessness in Manchester. Centrepoint offers those young people front line support and expert advice as well as assistance on accessing accommodation, education, training and employment.
Centrepoint Ambassador and Actress, Lisa Maxwell, and DJ Brandon Block were both at the event.
Manchester based The Co-operative Bank sponsored the event and had over 70 staff sleeping out.
Ben Bowden, Regional Fundraising Manager at Centrepoint, said: “It was fantastic to have the support of so many people braving a bitterly cold night in Victoria Baths for our second ever Sleep Out in Manchester.
“To have 200 people taking part, who together raised a huge £65,000 for Centrepoint’s work here, was amazing.
“While it is impossible for us to replicate the true reality of spending a night on the streets with nowhere else to go – participants certainly felt the cold last night and experienced the discomfort which some homeless young people have had to endure.
“The money we have raised will help support young people in Manchester as they tackle the physical and mental health problems caused by homelessness and gain the skills and confidence to find work or return to education.”
Lesley McPherson, Director of Communications at The Co-operative Bank, said: “Last night was another great Sleep Out Manchester event and I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to build on the fantastic support of last year and raise much needed money to help vulnerable young people.
“As a proud Manchester based bank we are committed to supporting our local communities and our partnership with Centrepoint helps support young people in the city who are in crisis.
“As uncomfortable as it was to spend the night sleeping out, it still in no way compares to the difficulties faced by too many young people in Manchester and across the UK.
“Centrepoint are offering valuable support and services to those that most need it and we’re proud to play a part in funding this work and raising awareness of the issue of youth homelessness.”