Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Stephen Mold, will join hundreds of people at the Big Sleepout later this month to raise money for Northampton Hope Centre, which supports those in poverty and without homes in the county.
The event, which is being held at Sixfields Stadium on Friday, 26th January, will see participants ‘sleep rough’ for an evening in freezing UK temperatures to raise both cash and awareness of the issues faced by those who are forced to sleep on the streets.
Last year more than 170 sleepers raised in excess of £60,000 for the charity, which is aiming to welcome a records number of sleepers this year.
Commissioner Mold, Chief Executive of the OPFCC, Martin Scoble; Director for Early Intervention, Nicci Marzec; and Involvement Officer, Sam Ward decided to join the event following feedback from those taking part in the Commission’s Time2Listen mental health consultation, which is currently exploring the experiences of those with mental illnesses, ADHD and Autism when in contact with the Police and criminal justice system.
A large percentage of those without homes in Northamptonshire also suffer from mental illnesses, significantly increasing the challenges they face.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Stephen Mold, who visited the Hope Centre in September last year, said:
“The stories I heard from some of those who I met at the Hope Centre were truly heart-breaking and along with feedback we have received as part of our Time2Listen consultation, have really inspired myself and some of my team to get out and try to help this fantastic charity to support some of our most vulnerable people.
“Research suggests that the majority of people in the UK are only three missed pay days away from being made homeless themselves, which highlights how a stroke of bad luck can result in any of us being in this terrible situation.
“Our consultation shows that with events that can lead to homelessness comes significant mental health challenges which make things doubly hard to recover from. It is up to all of us to try to help people in these situations to get back on their feet and lead the lives that they want to, not lives that are dictated by unfortunate circumstances or events.
“This is a small way for us to help – and we of course would love people to sponsor us to raise some well-earned and well needed funds for the Hope Centre in the process.”
Anyone wishing to support the Hope Centre can donate to the Commission’s Just Giving Page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/opcc18, or follow the link from the NorthantsPFCC website or Twitter feed.
The Time2Listen mental health consultation, which wants to hear from anyone who lives with mental illnesses, ADHD or Autism and has had interactions with the Police, has been extended until February 16th, and is available to take part in at www.Time2ListenNorthants.co.uk.