The people of Preston are being encouraged to show their support for the Foxton Centre once again while showing solidarity with rough sleepers, by taking part in the Big PNE Sleep In on Good Friday.
The Sleep In event follows the overwhelming success of the Big PNE Sleep Out in November 2019, with Preston North End Community and Education Trust, Biffa and Blog Preston having come together to arrange the event - along with the beneficiary of funds raised, the Foxton Centre - which raised more than £90,000 for the charity's Housing First initiative.
All four organisations have now united once again to encourage people to come together once more for the Sleep In, following the Sleep Out in November of last year, as a way of showing solidarity with homeless people, particularly with the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
The idea of the Sleep In is to raise awareness of the Foxton Centre's work and its work with the homeless at a time where the nation is self-isolating due to the current health crisis.
People are encouraged to take part by grabbing a sleeping bag, staying home as per the government advice and joining the conversation online on Friday 10th April by sharing a photo of them taking part, using the hashtag #pnesleepin.
Head of Preston North End Community and Education Trust, Tom Drake, said: “After the success of the Big PNE Sleep Out last year which we held at Deepdale, the Big PNE Sleep In will now allow a younger generation of people, along with their families, to take part and show their support for the homeless and the work of the Foxton Centre.
“We are proud to be involved in this event at a time where many people will be facing social isolation, and taking part in the Sleep In event can potentially really help with that by becoming interactive online.”
“We’re looking forward to seeing the community come together once again in the name of the Foxton Centre again next week and hope to see plenty of Preston North End fans among those taking part.
The Foxton Centre has been working to help the city’s homeless who can’t ‘stay home’ as the government is urging.
Chief executive of the Foxton, Jeff Marsh, said: “Our Housing First scheme has helped accommodate over 30 former rough sleepers with the support of the people of Preston.
“The Sleep In event offers everyone an opportunity to show their support for those without a roof over their head at a time when we are self-isolating at home.”
With the Sleep Out having been restricted to those over the age of 18, the Sleep In will give younger people the opportunity to get involved by taking part with their families.
Blog Preston founder Ed Walker said: “For those especially with young children the stay at home initiative is particularly tough, so we wanted to do something which gave us something to aim for over the Easter weekend.
“Blog Preston will be taking part and supporting the Big PNE Sleep In and I hope the city gets behind the event in the same way they did the Big Sleep Out.
“We look forward to sharing all your messages of support during Good Friday evening.”
Biffa business development manager Michael Treadwell added: “Following on from the Big PNE Sleep Out last year we wanted to carry on the vital message of how dangerous it is for any person to seek refuge inside a waste container.
“From April to December 2019, Biffa employees recorded 109 ‘near misses’ or encounters with people either sleeping in or near our bins.
“The original plan was to get involved with local schools and youth groups to raise awareness of homelessness in Preston and the surrounding areas. With the current situation of social isolation and our original plan postponed, the Big PNE Sleep In was launched.
“This will allow all those younger people and their families to take part. We are lucky to have homes to self isolate in and it is vital that homeless people receive support during these times. We hope that this event will show great support for the homeless as well and the tireless work of everyone at the Foxton Centre.”
The Big PNE Sleep In will take place from 7pm next Friday 10th April, and you can show you’re taking part by clicking here to vist the Facebook event page here and confirming your participation.
Anyone wishing to donate to the Foxton Centre can do so by texting PNESLEEPIN to 70085 to donate £1, or by visting the The Foxton Centre website for more details.