Ben & Rosie sleep on the streets of Old Spitalfields Market to raise money for LandAid, the property industry charity who work extremely hard to end youth homelessness in the UK
This time last month, our Business Development Duo, Ben and Rosie, joined the LandAid Sleep Out to raise money for LandAid house – a new build project designed to provide 146 bedrooms to young people at risk of becoming homeless.
The pair described their experience as the ‘safe’ side of sleeping rough, being in a secure environment overnight with sufficient resources and facilities to hand. Four young people who LandAid have been able to help, attended the event to share their honest accounts of how they came to be homeless and the difference that LandAid is making. Ben and Rosie returned to the office humbled, and reminded of how lucky they are.
Our team set up base camp in what happened to be the windiest spot in the market, requiring them to construct walls from cardboard and fashioning windbreaks out of emergency foil blankets. They were dressed for the occasion, with over 5 layers each: Hats, gloves, hand warmers, foot warmers, extra socks, thermals, two coats and a thick 4 seasons sleeping bag. Initially, the cold wasn’t an issue for our brave pair, until the temperatures plummeted to a chilly minus 3 in early hours of the morning. It’s hard to imagine how they were feeling!
On reflection, Ben and Rosie struggled most with the sound of London – the constant comings and goings, emergency sirens and wind battering their base camp. This, with the lack of comfort provided by 10mm of cardboard, resulted in a broken night’s sleep but a much better understanding of, and respect for, people doing it for real with a lot less.
One of their lasting memories of the experience is around people’s perceptions. The simple act of dressing for the cold, carrying a sleeping bag and looking sleep deprived completely changed the way they were viewed the following morning.
As a company, our understanding of what homeless people living in the UK face on a day to day basis is now completely different than prior to this event. It is fair to say the pair have taken away a huge amount sine the event, with lasting respect and sympathy for the daily struggles faced by the homeless.
Raising this money wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing support received from local companies. A huge thanks to: Experience Days for donating a voucher to be used on any of their experiences; Teamworks Karting Letchworth for donating a huge £200 worth of tickets, as well as Woburn Safari Park for donating a family admission ticket. We value and appreciate the support received from these companies as well as others who kindly donated prizes to our charity raffle.