The Leeds Big Sleep is back for a seventh year and will once again see Leeds Rhinos Foundation, St George’s Crypt and St Gemma’s Hospice team up for a night under the stars at Headingley Stadium on Thursday 23rd November.
Over the past six years the Leeds Big Sleep has gone from strength to strength, raising £225,000 for the three charities involved in a bid to raise awareness for some of the city’s most vulnerable.
People from around the area, including volunteers, businesses, staff and Leeds Rhinos players are asked to give up one night in the comfort of their homes, to spend a night under the stars on the terraces at Headingley Stadium.
Leeds Rhinos Foundation is the official charity of Leeds Rhinos which was set up to use the power of sport to change people’s lives. St George’s Crypt are a Leeds based charity that has been helping the homeless, the vulnerable and those suffering with addiction since 1930. St Gemma’s Hospice is a local, independent charity and world leader in palliative care research.
With the current cost-of-living crisis and hardships people are facing, the need to raise the awareness of the plight faced by people in the community is more important than it ever has been. Money raised from the event will go directly to supporting people in need by funding the work of the three charities.
Last year saw the event raise a record-breaking total of £67,000 and this year there is a fundraising target of £100K with 500 people taking part. All participants are encouraged to fundraise a minimum target of £100 but are welcome to raise as much as they can for these three worthy causes.
Gareth Cook, Head of Community and Engagement at Leeds Rhinos Foundation said: “We are delighted to be hosting the seventh Leeds Big Sleep, in partnership with our wonderful charity partners, St George’s Crypt and St Gemma’s Hospice.
“The event has raised a significant amount of funds for all three Leeds based charities who support those most vulnerable people in the city across a variety of projects. The funds raised allow us to sustain this work and provide more opportunities for local people. We are encouraging individuals as well as businesses take part this year and see this as a great teambuilding activity whilst supporting all three organisations. Our aim this year is to recruit 500 sleepers!”
Amanda Bennett, Fundraising Head of Relations at St George’s Crypt said: “Taking place at the wonderful Headingley Stadium, this is a Leeds event for Leeds charities; hosted by Leeds Rhinos, it allows the city to experience something our clients feel regularly, to start to understand what it is to be homeless, and to raise vital funds.
“The money we receive help us to continue to offer the service we have historically provided, whilst testing and developing innovative interventions to support our vulnerable clients out of homelessness. We are all facing challenging times, and we know that the more people that take part, the more chance we have of spreading the important work of all three charities. We feel it is important to shout out about the work that happens locally here in Leeds.”
Kate Goldring, Acting Director of Income at St Gemma’s Hospice added: “The Leeds Big Sleep is an important part of the Hospice’s fundraising calendar. Every penny raised funds expert patient care, family support and bereavement services, totally free of charge to anyone who needs it.
“Our new project aims to improve palliative care support for homeless people across Leeds and provide dignity and support at the end of life. The Big Sleep is a challenge that brings this project into sharp focus, and we are thrilled to be involved.”
The night is always one to remember, with a whole host of activities taking place throughout the evening including Rock ‘n’ Roll Bingo, raffles and a chance to meet some of the Rhinos first team players. Tea and coffee will also be provided to all that take part.
All money raised will be split equally between Leeds Rhinos Foundation, St George’s Crypt and St Gemma’s Hospice, all local charities working to support local people.
To sign up for the 2023 Leeds Big Sleep, please register at https://www.justgiving.com/