Employees from the Winnersh Triangle business park community joined together to ‘sleep out’ at the business park near Reading on Friday, March 31. Their nocturnal challenge has raised a running total of £7515.27 to support local homeless people.

The overnight event involved 17 employees from three businesses based at PATRIZIA UK’s award-winning business park. Funds will be donated to local charity Launchpad, which provides housing for more than 100 homeless people in Reading, as well as individual and professional support to help them get their lives back on track.  

Initiated and organised by charitable interns at international telecommunications firm and park tenant CenturyLink, the event brought together socially-hearted volunteers from across the Winnersh Triangle business community. Other companies joining CenturyLink to take part were Rockwell Collins and Sopra Steria.

The event gave participants the discomfort of sleeping outdoors with nothing between them and the ground other than cardboard – experiencing for one night the unpredictable conditions endured by homeless people.

All those involved in the sleep out participated in a shelter-building competition, before taking their cardboard structures outside to sleep beneath until 7am the following day.

CenturyLink’s Richard Warley, Managing Director and Vice President of Sales International, said: “CenturyLink is committed to its corporate social responsibility and charitable initiatives.

“Having heard of Launchpad through previous events, our interns wanted to create an event that would raise money for this local charity while also driving awareness of the realities facing homeless people. We’re incredibly proud of their exceptional hard work collaborating with businesses at the park to support Launchpad to help make a considerable difference to people on the streets of Reading.”

“Homelessness in Reading has increased by a shocking 700 percent in three years, so when we were approached about the sleep out we were keen to lend our support – hosting the event, sponsoring musician Davie McGirr, who performed his Seven Songs series for the evening, and funding fresh coffee and breakfast packs for all participants the following morning” commented PATRIZIA UK’s Rupert Batho, Director, Asset Management.

He added: “Winnersh Triangle is focused on supporting initiatives that foster and enhance skills and employment opportunities. When we learned of Launchpad’s invaluable work, whether it be offering support with literacy and job applications or providing shelter for people in need, it really struck a chord with us.

“It’s easy to take a warm bed, a shower and kitchen for granted, let alone resources for education and employment, so Launchpad’s work in providing these for those who are vulnerable is absolutely paramount.”

Fundraising and Relationship Manager at Launchpad, Jason McMahon, commented: “When CenturyLink approached us, we agreed that a sleep out would be an appropriate way of highlighting the issue of homelessness, as well as providing a means of raising vital funds to help us deliver more support for those in need.

“We’d like to extend our sincere gratitude to Winnersh Triangle for hosting the event; all those at CenturyLink who continue to support Launchpad; and of course our hardy participants who slept out and everyone who contributed to their efforts. One night sleeping out can make a world of difference to the people whose lives we’re aiming to get back on track.”

Monies raised from the sleep out will go towards accommodation, education, training and employment services, as well as emotional support, counselling and budgeting advice for vulnerable people across Reading.

To find out more about Launchpad’s work and how you can help, visit www.launchpadreading.org.uk

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