Yesterday, followers of team HOHW’s social media accounts will have seen that we announced CentrePoint as one of the official charities for our upcoming row. Our announcement coincided with CentrePoint’s annual Bradford Sleep Out which we attended last night. We are incredibly proud of our partnership with CentrePoint and can’t wait to work with them closer over the upcoming years.
A Brief Background
Founded in 1969 in Soho, CentrePoint now nationally supports 9,200 homeless young people each year. As well as London, CentrePoint works in Manchester, Barnsley, the North East and Bradford. CentrePoint has deep links with Bradford and has been working with homeless 16-25 year olds everyday in the city since 2013. On average CentrePoint support over 500 young people every year in the Bradford area alone.
CentrePoint works with each young person to ensure they have access to safe and secure accommodation, support to overcome any physical or mental health issues, access to education, training and learning opportunities as well as the independent living skills needed to leave homelessness behind for good.
Our Sleep Out Experience
We didn’t know what to expect when we were asked to swap our beds for the night to show support for homeless young people in Bradford. Although the Sleep Out doesn’t aim to replicate homelessness, it certainly opened our eyes and hit home how fortunate we are to not be sleeping rough.
We turned up with sleeping bags under our arms and with as many layers we could wear without becoming immobile, and got our “patch” for the night. A piece of cardboard as a ground mat for the hard, cold concrete floor of the Bradford City AFC stadium and a paper liner, which could only be described as a massive potato sack, to sleep in.
As well as being treated to some harsh realities, we were also given pie and peas, entertainment and great company. Most importantly though we were given a humbling speech by Catherine who found herself homeless at 16 and now lives independently thanks to CentrePoint.
Our sleep was a broken one, not only due to the cold and the hard floors but also a phantom snorer…*cough*…James…*cough*. However we are in the fortunate position where it was only for one night.
Our aim has always been to inspire people to realise that anything is achievable no matter your background or perceived capabilities, yet we where the ones who left the Sleep Out feeling even more inspired due to Catherine’s stories and confidence. More inspired to dig deep and keep going through the ups and downs the next two years, and the ocean, will throw at us.
The people of Bradford raised £30,000 last night, which is absolutely incredible. We can’t wait to work with you all again in the future.
All charity donations raised through Hell Oar High Water for our chosen charities will come directly to Bradford. We will be announcing our second (and final) charity next week, as well as how you can Donate. Keep your eyes peeled.
– Chris & James –