Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

A new incubation programme has launched to support would-be entrepreneurs in Northamptonshire.

A new incubation programme has launched to support would-be entrepreneurs in Northamptonshire.

Friday 10th November saw members of the public take part in the 15th annual Sleepout for YMCA Burton.

For the 140 participants it was a cold night where the temperatures dropped to 4 degrees in Burton-on-Trent.

This year, as well as the Sleepout being held at Burton Albion FCs home ground; Pirelli Stadium, there was also the option of the Xtreme Sleepout at St Modwen’s graveyard which is gaining more participants each year.

This year, YMCA Burton celebrated the milestone of 15 years of holding this event, which is their largest fundraiser and their CEO Paul Laffey has taken part in every one! Paul said:

“I find participating in the annual Sleepout a challenge and a humbling experience in equal measure. It’s a stark reminder of what many of our residents have faced before they found sanctuary and a place to call home at the YMCA. Of course, it’s only one night sleeping rough as a participant, and I realise how blessed I am to have a loving family, a support network, and a home. 15 years is quite a milestone and I am pleased to have taken part every year the YMCA has run the event. I would like to thank everyone who has sponsored me to take part, all the wonderful participants who have Slept-Out and the people who have sponsored them, you really do help change lives. A huge thanks also must go to the staff and volunteers at the YMCA. The night would not happen without their hard work and support.”

At Pirelli the participants heard from YMCA Burton’s President Ben Robinson there was a guest participant in ex-Brewers boss Nigel Clough who came to do the Sleepout and also presented Paul with a gift and certificate for his 15 years of Sleepout service.

The evening mirrors itself on that of a night shelter so there was an opportunity to get a hot drink before the lights go off at 11pm. Some people drop off to sleep whilst others find the constant traffic noise and cold makes it tough for them. One participant said:

“I know we are in a safe place and its undercover which is more than rough sleepers get but I still can’t sleep. I find myself wondering what every single noise is and the cold floor is starting to make my back ache. I feel silly for moaning because I know in a few hours I will be back home in the warmth of my own bed so I keep telling myself its just for one night.”

After what felt like a long, but luckily, dry night, the participants are woken up and given a breakfast roll and hot drink before making their way home.  

Fundraising and Partnerships Manager Paula Senior, who has organised the Sleepout for the past eight years said;

“This is my eighth year of organising Sleepout and each year, I am blown away and humbled by the support it gets. This year, especially with the continued cost of living crisis, has made fundraising really difficult so we are grateful for all the money the fundraisers have managed to raise and to all our sponsors too.”

YMCA Burton are still taking donations for this years’ Sleepout, if you would like to help them reach their £50,000 target then you can still sponsor them via this link here:

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