With under a month to go until registration for the Big PNE Sleep Out closes on Friday 1st November, we will be asking a number of individuals and businesses about why they have been inspired to take part in the fundraising bid in aid of the Foxton Centre.
Taking place on Friday 15th November at Deepdale, the Big PNE Sleep Out is a sponsored overnight sleepover which will see around 250 people involved, according to the latest sign-up figures, experiencing rough sleeping in the name of charity - with the appeal aiming to raise £50,000 for the Foxton Centre to build and renovate a house in Preston to provide shelter for homeless people.
Among those taking part is John Kelly, a North End fan who has signed up alongside a handful of PNE-Online forum patrons, and he explained that his background in charity work meant he had a desire to get involved.
“Supporting people who may have mental health conditions is a passion of mine,” John said. “I work for a local charity called N-Compass North West and became aware of the great work of The Foxton Centre through service users of our wellbeing service.
“I am always keen to give back to the community and after speaking to my colleague Katharine Lonsdale – who is also passionate about supporting those less fortunate – and hearing about how the funds would be used, we put our names down straightaway.
“We are all one non-payday away from becoming homeless and while we would hope that we would never need the support many in the Preston area do, without the Foxton Centre, those homeless people would have nowhere else to go.
“The positive outcomes I have seen from such organisations can change lives.”
John has already surpassed the £100 individual fundraising target when combining on and offline donations and is hoping PNE fans can rally around in support of the wider cause.
“We have our own personal targets. We have already exceeded the £100 individual targets and will continue to raise as much as possible towards the overall target.
“We don't have a specific set target set but we know that The Gentry will support us as much as they can and we are very grateful for the support.”