Letters staff raised £1,250 for SASH, the local youth homeless charity it sponsors, by sleeping rough in York on Managing Director Anya Mathewson’s birthday.
Landlords, tenants and contractors helped sponsor the group to spend the night under the stars with just sleeping bags, cardboard and tarpaulin for cover, in temperatures as low as 2 degrees.
Anya was joined by colleagues Amelia Risi and Jeanie Gilroy, husband and Letters Commercial Director Graeme Dixon, as well as teenage sons Ben and Adam and Amelia’s partner Dan Smith.
She said: “I’ve spent my birthday in more comfortable surroundings but ours was a small sacrifice compared to those people who really do sleep rough.
“It was a great night with team effort all round. Letters contractors and staff donated tarpaulin and cardboard boxes, and Jeanie, Ben and Adam constructed a huge simple shelter for all seven of us. It was snug but we were conscious of the concrete beneath us.
“There was an amazing team spirit among our group and the 100-plus other people taking part. SASH even presented me with a birthday chocolate cake, and everyone sang Happy Birthday!”
Anya added: “The response from Letters colleagues, clients and contractors, as well as our friends and family, was very generous. Thanks to them, we’re very proud to donate £1,250 to SASH, on top of Letters’ sponsorship of SASH this year.”
Letters takes very seriously its responsibility towards tenants as well as landlords and is keen to help support young people who find themselves without a home.
Anya said: “As parents of young people a similar age to those SASH helps, Graeme and I are very much aware that young people of around 16-25 are potentially very vulnerable without the right support; if they lose their way it can be life-changing.”
This year’s annual SASH sleepout has so far raised £24,347 to help more than 300 young people avoid homelessness every year in North and East Yorkshire.
Its Nightstop and Supported Lodgings schemes support 16-25 year-olds who are experiencing a crisis in their lives; last year, 40% of the young people referred to SASH were just 16 or 17 years old.