LandAid’s first ever SleepOut for LandAid House sponsored by Hammerson and Knight Frank has raised over a fantastic £150,000, every penny of which will go to City YMCA London to rebuild their former Errol Street hostel near Old Street, Islington.
The event saw 187 property professionals from 63 companies including British Land, Grosvenor and SEGRO spending a night sleeping out in Old Spitalfields Market. Click here to see the photos.
Participants were joined on the evening by young people who have been helped by City YMCA London. They shared their experiences of being homeless in London, and also gave some hope as they told the audience how well they were now doing.
Thanks to generous sponsors, every penny raised last night is going to LandAid’s capital appeal to raise £1.5m for the rebuilding of the City YMCA London hostel in Islington. The new accommodation which opens in summer 2019 will provide 146 young people with a safe, secure and affordable place to live, and will enable City YMCA London to continue their outstanding work for generations to come.
LandAid chief executive Paul Morrish gave a speech emphasising the importance of raising awareness for youth homelessness and how the money raised will help better the lives of those in need.
A prize was awarded for the most successful fundraiser, which went to Ben Barbanel, OakNorth Bank, who raised an amazing £10,807. Fourteen event patrons - senior industry leaders who set themselves a higher fundraising target - included Mark Bourgeois, Hammerson PLC, Alistair Elliot, Knight Frank and Craig McWilliam, Grosvenor, raised over £65,000. Altogether, the fundraising from this event will be enough to fund six bedrooms in shared flats in the new building.
LandAid would like to say a big thank you to all of the events sponsors, including headline sponsors Hammerson and Knight Frank and ‘survival kits’ sponsors CBRE. The event also received donations of soup from the Pret Foundation Trust and cardboard boxes from Premier Moves. Old Spitalfields Market very kindly lent the venue for the evening.
Channell, a resident at City YMCA London said on the night: “I became homeless because of family problems. So many people become homeless and it is not always straightforward, we often assume that homeless people we see are using drugs or something, but so often there is so much more to it. An event like this shines a light on what homeless people go through every day, it helps to bring awareness and for you to understand what it would be like not to have a home.
It is thanks to organisations like City YMCA London, that young people are able to develop, grow and flourish in an environment that tends to their needs. It allows them to build a sturdy future.”
Paul Morrish, LandAid Chief Executive, says: “A big thank you to every single person who took part last night. An incredible amount has been raised for City YMCA’s LandAid House – enough to fund six bedrooms in shared flats in the new building. We are so proud to see so many of you take on this challenge for young Londoners and what you did last night will make a difference to the lives of young people for generations to come.
Getting up this morning and heading straight from Spitalfields Market to my office was a sobering experience, as I’m sure it was for everyone who took part. But for too many young people, they don’t have an option. Sleeping out isn’t an evening’s entertainment or fundraising – it is their reality. So thank you to everyone who last night gave hundreds of young people the option of a safe, secure and affordable home for the future.”
Gillian Bowen, City YMCA London Chief Executive says: “City YMCA London have been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of support from participants, to help us raise awareness of youth homelessness.
Last night, we had people travelling from all quarters of London and beyond to join us, demonstrating their commitment to helping City YMCA London’s new housing development for homeless young people.
As we strive to support vulnerable young people to build a future, the funds raised at SleepOut will directly assist their ability to live, learn and negotiate their transition to independence – from the safety of their new home.”