January 31st saw 98 people take part in the Big Sleepout in a Christ Church graveyard overnight to raise money for the Northampton Hope Centre and Heat Holders were on hand to keep the brave participants a little bit warmer for the night.

The Northampton Hope Centre is a Day Centre that has been working with the homeless and disadvantaged community in Northampton and the surrounding area since 1974 - its aims are to combat poverty, disability, social deprivation and its causes.

Clients of the Hope Centre can access basic but essential services, such as hot meals, showers and recycled clothes. An ongoing goal for the centre though, is to provide a programme of meaningful training & development activities within a structured client engagement programme to encourage them to ‘move on’ with their lives, improve their self-esteem and develop new skills.

As a charity, Northampton Hope Centre are reliant on fundraising activity. The Big Sleepout is an annual event that challenges supporters to spend the night out in the cold, to raise money for the Hope Centre through sponsorship, and also raise awareness of the issues faced by homeless clients. The event is always held in January to coincide with “Poverty and Homelessness Action Week.”

Sarah from Northampton who took part in the event said, “Doing the Sleepout for the Northampton Hope Centre was a big challenge, but a great night, despite the awful weather. Everyone was great and we had plenty of hot drinks. My feet were kept fantastically warm by the HeatHolder socks that I was given on the way in. I have to say, I may be going out to buy another pair!”

The event will hopefully have risen £20,000 for Northampton Hope Centre.

For more information see: Northampton Hope Centre