Richmond Fellowship staff braved the cold to sleep rough at an event in Birmingham to raise awareness of homelessness.
Recovery worker Beth Mason from Richmond Fellowship’s Brendan House supported intervention service in Cannock was joined by Grazina Berry, Director of Performance, Quality and Innovation and Angela Williams, Director of People and Organisation Development at the CEO Sleepout held at Villa Park in Birmingham, the home of Aston Villa Football club.
Lifelong Villa fan Beth was inspired to take on the CEO sleepout from her own experiences and those of the service users’ from Staffordshire Life Links. She said:
“I’ve been affected by homelessness myself after my house in Manchester was repossessed. Fortunately I was able to move in with family; if not for them I would have faced homelessness.
“Many people who use our service are struggling with employment, finances or relationships and homelessness to them is a very real threat. The links between mental health and homelessness are well documented and it’s vital that we work to raise awareness of this.”
The three of them were joined by over 35 others raising awareness for homelessness including Aston Villa Chief Executive Tom Fox.
Commenting on the sleepout, Beth said: “It was very windy. I’d opted to sleep on a yoga mat and a sheet of cardboard so I managed to get some sleep, but it was an eye opening experience for us all.
“It makes you take a step back and realise this is the normality for thousands of people, many of whom live with mental health problems. We’re happy that our small efforts have raised money to improve the lives of people who’ve found themselves without a roof.”
Check out the images of the CEO Sleepout below:
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