Discovery Park spent a night under the stars in aid of Kent homeless charity, Porchlight with sponsorship from the event helping to push the total amount raised so far this year past £10,000.
The Big Sleep Out took place from 7pm on Friday, 14 October in the comparative luxury of the recently refurbished Gateway Courtyard, but with few home comforts, giving those braving the chill an insight into life on the streets.
Companies represented at the fundraiser, included Pfizer, Pettit Recruitment Parkserve, Discovery Park, Morgan Jones, Clinco, Big Red Branding, A4PBio, Hornby, New Appointments Group and Pillory Barn.
The events included music from acclaimed local guitarist Richard Rozze and his band Open Water, providing one of the magical moments of the evening after welcoming young Tommy Bennett to the stage.
The teenage music student was persuaded to take to the mic and sing a couple of songs, after inspiring the audience with his story of how Porchlight had saved him from a life on the streets.
Any thoughts of sleeping in were banished at 7am thanks to the arrival of Sandwich town crier Kevin Cook, the event’s own alarm call, who thanked everyone for taking part before bringing the event to an end.
Kimberley Anderson, Corporate Services Manager, Discovery Park, said: “It was brilliant to see tenants, staff and volunteers really getting into the whole concept of sleeping out and what it must be like to be homeless. This was just one night, but it brought home just how important charities like Porchlight are and why they need our support.”
“When I visited one of Porchlight’s hostels in Ramsgate in May it brought home just what an amazing job they do and how they help some of Kent’s most vulnerable people to get their lives back on track.
“While they’re our charity for the year, this site’s support will continue, whether that’s companies based here offering job opportunities to people involved in the Porchlight programme, or supporting the charity’s skills development work.”
Hornby Hobbies was among the companies taking part in the Big Sleep Out, boasting the most impressive shelters, complete with bubble wrap awning. They have already raised nearly £850 in sponsorship, with more coming in.
Sally Donald, International Merchandiser for Hornby Hobbies, said: “It was such a good evening for a brilliant cause. I had to sleep all the following day to recover. I can only imagine what it must be like for people who have to experience this night after night.”
Joanne Spiteri, Corporate Partnerships Manager, Porchlight, said: “Homelessness is rising in Thanet and elsewhere, so events like this are really important to us. We’re really grateful to everyone who slept out for us.
“Discovery Park and businesses located there have been doing amazing work for us over the summer. Their fundraising means we’ll be able to continue running vital services like the Porchlight helpline and rough sleeper support team.”
The Big Sleep Out is one of a number of events that have taken place in aid of Porchlight since the organisation was named Discovery Park’s charity of the year in May.
Other events have included the Discovery Park Golf Classic, two table tennis tournaments and the conquering of Mount Kilimanjaro by finance director Kevin Howes.
To find out about the work of Porchlight, visit the website.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]