Laurenne's Sleep Out For Blackburn
Raising vital funds to help the homeless
Laurenne Chapman, Business Development Manager from our Central Office has experienced homelessness first-hand, so when she heard Blackburn Rovers Community Trust were working with homeless charity, Nightsafe to raise money and awareness, she was keen to get involved. She managed to round up eight of her colleagues, both from our Central Office and funeral homes in the Blackburn and Preston areas, and last Friday they took part in “Sleep Out for Blackburn” where participants slept rough in the Blackburn Rovers grounds for the night. This is her story.
"On Friday 23rd November I slept out under the stars at Ewood Park to raise awareness and money to support Nightsafe, a charity that helps the homeless in the Blackburn and Darwen area.
"Homelessness is a huge problem in the North-West. It is easy to walk past people sitting on the street in their struggle for food and shelter and dismiss their suffering. Most of us can't comprehend what it is like not to come home at night for a meal, glass of vino, family time and an episode of whatever is current.
"There have been three occasions in my life when I have been without a home, one of which was when I was pregnant with my daughter. I was fortunate enough to find a route to shelter on all three occasions. However the stress I went through on each occasion is something that has had a lasting impact on me. Through my experiences I have some insight into how much emotional and physical stress being without a home brings to a person. I want to endorse and support the work of charities who help people in need who are without the comforts of a home, those comforts that we all need.
"I was born and brought up in Darwen and thanks to my dear Dad who I lost nearly three years ago I have always been a passionate Blackburn Rovers fan. It is great to see the football club supporting a cause like this and trying to make a difference. I now live in Manchester and work for the Co-op. I feel very lucky to work here as the Co-op cares about supporting the vulnerable. The Co-op proactively endorsed me as I took on this challenge and I was joined by several of my colleagues.
"Taking part in the sleepover challenge was a humbling experience for me and has changed the way I approach my day-to-day life. It was great that we had a mix of colleagues from the front line and from 1 Angel Square taking part and working together to support such an important initiative in a community that means a lot to us all. Same again next year minus the snoring from one colleague who will remain anonymous!"
It was a very difficult night for the team, but this only made what they were doing more poignant. They were able to go home, warm up with hot showers and recover from the night of cold, but for the homeless this is never-ending.
Well done to Laurenne and her colleagues; Jane Ross, Frazer Faulkner, Ragan Galley, Nigel Gilliat, Andrew Waters, Mark Chappelhow, Rachel Fisk and Andrew McCullagh. Along with all the other participants in this great event you've done an amazing thing, and the amount of money raised to help the homeless is set to reach £25,000.
Laurenne's JustGiving page is still open for donations and can be found here.