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BigSleepOut 2021

This year’s virtual Big Sleep Out has raised more than £7,000 for homelessness services in North Wales.

Run for the last nine years by housing association ClwydAlyn, this year’s Big Sleep Out event went virtual in line with lockdown restrictions, with more than 50 adults and 40 children taking part by sleeping somewhere for the night that wasn’t their bed.

Going virtual also meant that there was an opportunity to engage more children in the meaning of homelessness and the impact that it has on people’s lives.

The event was backed by staff and residents from housing association Cartrefi Conwy, and construction company Williams homes, who donated £3,000.

Other generous donations have been made by Redrow, DHL, Jaguar Landrover, Anwel Group, Pure Residential, NWPS Construction, and leadership practice, DoWell (UK) Ltd.

Lynda Williams, Senior Project Officer at ClwydAlyn, the founder of the Big Sleepout, said: “We’re delighted with the kind support showed again this year for the Big Sleep Out. We knew with lockdown restrictions that we would need to run it differently this year rather than postpone it because it’s such a valuable way to raise funds and awareness.

“Going virtual also meant that we could use it as an opportunity to involve more children. We produced a fact sheet and goody bag for children taking part including homeless facts to raise awareness and it’s been a great way to get the message across in a different way.

“We’re so grateful for the support that’s been shown by companies across North Wales and would like to say a big thank you to everyone that has taken part and donated to such an important cause, their support really is so valuable in making a difference to people’s lives.”

The money raised by the Big Sleep Out is used to help improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness by helping them to buy the things that are often taken for granted such as toiletries, haircuts, travel costs and vet bills for dogs. Donations are also made to event partners the North Wales Air Ambulance Service.

Clare Budden, Chief Executive of ClwydAlyn, and a member of the Welsh Government’s Homelessness Action Group, added: “The problem of homelessness and rough sleeping is increasing and, in stark terms, people experiencing homelessness die earlier and are nine times more likely to take their own lives.

“People sleeping on the streets are 17 times more likely to be victims of crime.

“This is shocking, it’s a national crisis and through the Big Sleep Out, we want to raise much needed funds and crucially, raise awareness of this issue and what we can all do to help.

“I would like to say a big thank you to everyone that has supported our event this year through donations and by taking part, their support is very much valued and appreciated.”

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