Hotel staff in Ellesmere Port put themselves in the shoes of the homeless and endured a freezing sleep-out.
The team from the canalside Holiday Inn Ellesmere Port/Cheshire Oaks on Centre Island, Waterways, Lower Mersey Street, slept outside to raise money for the Chester Soul Kitchen’s £480 rent for the year.
As a business the hotel had decided to support various different homeless charities during this year with employees feeling passionately about enabling the Chester Soup Kitchen, which works for the homeless, to continue for the next 12 months without worrying about their rent or overheads.
Undeterred by the forecast of an extremely cold night, leisure supervisor Anna Whelan, accounts assistant Charlotte Knowles, commis chef Paul Morris and conference and events coordinator Amy Jones braved the outdoors in below freezing weather with the aim of raising £480 to cover the rent.
No luxuries were involved, ‘no perks, just a sleeping bag alongside the cold floor and the weather we were dealt with that day’.
Amy said: “We had organised the sleep out a couple of weeks before and as we were getting closer to the date we noticed it was going to be an extremely cold night.
“The day before we were due to do the sleep-out we saw that Chester’s Soul Kitchen had organised a severe weather activation with emergency shelter for anyone sleeping rough that day.
“If anything this made us more determined as we really wanted to experience how bad it could be for people sleeping on the streets and just to make us truly appreciate organisations like Chester Soul Kitchen who help these people.
“We have now altogether raised £647 which we are so pleased about and would just like to thank everyone who has donated so far. It would be great to see if we could make it to £720 to cover their rent for 18 months.”
Their funding page is https://www.gofundme.com/holidayinnellesmereportsleepout.
Amy added: “Over the last couple of months we have also been doing a homeless Christmas shoebox appeal.
“If anyone would like to create their own shoebox please pop all the items in the box, wrap it up in the brightest Christmas wrapping paper and hand in to reception at our hotel by the end of this week.”