Brewery staff raise £9,000 for homelessness charity with sponsored sleepout in Romford
PUBLISHED: 17:00 29 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:43 02 December 2019
Staff from the Brewery spent a night sleeping outside to raise funds and awareness for a Romford homelessness charity.
From 9pm on Thursday, November 28 to 6am the following day, they slept in the shopping centre's car park in Waterloo Road.
The volunteers raised more than £9,000 for Hope4Havering in Atlanta Boulevard, a charity which endeavours to provide shelter for homeless people in the borough.
The participants also heard from people who have been affected by homelessness and who were invited to share their stories.
Kim Merry, founder of Hope4Havering, said: "I am so thankful to the Brewery and all their team for making possible a truly amazing sponsored sleepout in their car park.
"The Brewery and retailers did us proud to make what was a very chilly night a memorable night.
"Not only did we raise awareness of the problems of homelessness in Havering but testimonies were shared about the great work of the Hope4Havering team as they address rough sleeping in the Catalyst Nightshelter and their causes.
"I know we will be booking our spot for next year.
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"We even had an unofficial midnight visit from the mayor."
During the day the sleepout was supported with several hours of fundraising in the shopping centre and a visit from the Mayor of Havering, councillor Michael Deon Burton, who came to help with setting up the sleeping bags in the car park.
Speaking about the issue of homelessness, the Brewery's centre manager Tom Stobbart said: "When we think about homelessness, we envisage people sleeping rough on the streets.
"It could be a young person forced to live in sheltered accommodation while studying hard for a degree, or a mum forced to flee from her home as a result of domestic abuse.
"We may be a retail complex, but community is a large part of our ethos.
"We believe that by hosting this event, we'll begin to break the stereotype of homelessness and show it can affect everyone.
"Just because you have a bed, it doesn't mean you have a home."
The event was sponsored by ModPizza, Cosmo, Costa & Kaspas who generously offered food and a selection of hot drinks for the Brewery staff.
McDonalds also delivered hot drinks and breakfast to the volunteers at 6am on Friday.