Vital funds raised during the Big Calderdale Sleepout will be match funded by a local environmental company.
The annual event saw over 228 people camp out overnight in the Piece Hall, raising more than £25,000 for Calderdale SmartMove. This will now be match funded by Halifax-based Leo Group, a leading specialist in animal by-products and renewable energy.
SmartMove supports homeless and vulnerably housed people, by helping them find suitable accommodation. They also provide them with the support and resources they need in order to live independently. In 2019, 96% of people that received help from SmartMove were still in accommodation twelve months later.
Cassie Irving, Leo Group’s PR Manager said: “We’re delighted to be able to support such a vital local cause by donating much needed funds. The fact 228 people swapped their warm homes for a cold floor, to highlight the plight of those who are homeless, demonstrates what an important service this is. Obviously, we would like to live in a world where charities like this didn’t need to exist, however whilst they do, we will endeavour to help in whatever way we can.”
The charity will ringfence the £25,000 donation ensuring it will be used where it is needed most including to provide new starter packs for people who require basic household items such as kettles and toasters, emergency aid parcels for those sleeping rough and a bond scheme for those requiring housing.
The funding will also be used to provide crisis grants for families with nothing and who may require immediate housing or for people with young babies who need essential items such as a pram or clothing.
Any money left will be used to develop a new mental health course for SmartMove’s clients as well as other vulnerable individuals across Calderdale, working alongside Unmasked Mental Health.
Stuart Rumney, Chief Executive at Calderdale SmartMove, said: “We’re absolutely overwhelmed with the incredible support from Leo Group. It really is an unbelievable amount that will make a huge difference to our clients who are vulnerable individuals and families needing support at what is often the lowest point in their lives. We want to thank the Leo Group for their huge generosity and their support. It is truly appreciated.”