Preston rallied together to raise what looks set to be one of the single largest fundraising totals for charity in the city’s history.Advertisement
As The Foxton Centre marks their 50th year of operation more than 300 people bedded down at Deepdale Stadium for the night.
From chief executives to cleaners, from marketing managers to council leaders the community put down their cardboard and rolled out their sleeping bags.
With more than £44,000 pledged online (update: We have now smashed the £50,000 target) and more to come in gift aid, offline donations and text donations the £50,000 target for The Foxton’s Housing First Scheme looks set to be well and truly raised by the Big PNE Sleep Out.
Prestonians poured in donations as the temperatures dropped at Deepdale in the Bill Shankly Kop.
The event began from 7pm on Friday November 15 and Preston North End fans were in good company.
Injured striker Louis Moult spent three hours meeting fans, wishing those sleeping out well and explained in a heartfelt speech to those attending his very personal connections with services like The Foxton Centre.
Those attending also heard from the club’s Head of Community Tom Drake about why it was crucial the club was playing an active role in the fight against homelessness, from Biffa’s Nick Rushton and Michael Treadwell about how they as a company are very much on the frontline of rough sleeping and chief executive of the Foxton Centre then outlined how the money would be spent to buy up an empty property in the city and convert it to be a safe place for rough sleepers.
With cardboard a-plenty, sleeping bags were zipped up and those sleeping out bedded down for the night.
The club were not able to turn off the strip lighting and there was certainly nothing the organisers could do about snoring from sections of the Kop concourse!
But that’s the reality. If you’re on the streets you don’t have a choice about where you’re sleeping, what’s around you or who is around you. You have to put up and pull your beanie hat over your eyes and sleeping bag over your head.
As 5.30am on Saturday came around the concourse began to come alive and by 6.30am those attending were well and truly ready for a hot shower and some home comforts.
You might think a concourse isn’t cold. It is. And it’s far from comfortable.
A big team picture, a handshake from the Mayor, picking up a certificate and off went those taking part in the sleep out knowing they had helped make a tangible difference to those sleeping rough in the city.
Proud Preston showed once again what it can do.
Thank you to everyone who attended, donated, send messages of support and more.
And the fundraising doesn’t stop there.
Donations remain open until Sunday 15 December either through the Totalgiving page or for those who took part there’s an event at The Foxton Centre from 11am to 2pm to come and hand in your cash donations, see the work the Foxton does and meet the organising team behind the Sleep Out.
Some of our favourite tweets from #pnesleepout
We’ve had fantastic support from all levels of the club at PNE…
Well done to Tiffany who toughed it out
Put politics to one side, it’s always great to see politicians getting stuck in. Strong squad from Preston Labour turned out.
Certificates at the end, well done Emma!
It was great to have the support of so many Preston businesses and organisations, such as Harrison Drury solicitors
And here’s the Spectrum CIC team
Couldn’t be there and want to see what it was like? Watch back our live coverage below
Welcome to the Big PNE Sleep Out – includes a chat with Louis Moult
Bedding down at the Big PNE Sleep Out
Waking up at the Big PNE Sleep Out