Hartlepool fundraisers back charity by sleeping on the streets

Staff from Hartlepool firm HeirHunter UK at the Big Tees Sleepout.  Doug Moody Photography
Staff from Hartlepool firm HeirHunter UK at the Big Tees Sleepout. Doug Moody Photography

It was a freezing night but it did not stop these Hartlepool fundraisers from raising thousands of pounds as they slept - or at least tried to.

Staff from town company HeirHunter UK proved they had warm hearts to go with their cold feet on a night of impressive backing for charity.

We won’t change the world through the Big Tees Sleepout but we are helping to raise some money and raise the profile of an important issue

Andy Preston

They braved the freezing temperatures by sleeping out to help raise nearly £7,000 to fight local homelessness and poverty.

They joined employees of RMB Auto and the local branch of Biffa for the chilly charity challenge.

And they were among more than 50 fundraisers who took part in the eighth Big Tees Sleepout, which was organised by the charity Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.

The event was held on the pavement outside Middlesbrough College, and is the latest in a series of sleepouts which have been held over the past four years.

So far, the Big Tees Sleepout has raised more than £94,000 for worthy causes.

All of the funds raised in the latest sleepout will go towards supporting local food banks, as well as homelessness charities. It will also support Christmas appeals which are organised by the Salvation Army.

Foundation chairman Andy Preston said: “I think we would all agree that homelessness and poverty should not exist on Teesside in the 21st Century, but sadly both are very real and affecting increasing numbers of local people.

“We won’t change the world through the Big Tees Sleepout, but we are helping to raise some money and raise the profile of an important issue.”

Mr Preston praised everyone who took part in the event for helping to back an important cause as well as putting up with horrible conditions.

He added: “Those who took part deserve massive plaudits for giving up their warm beds for a truly freezing cold night on the streets.”

But now, the search is on for people to support the next fundraising event.

Organisers are hoping to hear from people wanting take part in the next Big Tees Sleepout in April next year.

Those interested should contact Mandy Shields by emailing mandy.s@teessidecharity.org.uk or by calling (01642) 686018.