The Clock Tower Sanctuary, the only drop-in day centre supporting young homeless people in Brighton & Hove, has launched an Urgent Winter Appeal to raise £30,000 for their vital work with 16-to-25-year olds.
Fifty people have each pledged to raise a minimum of £300 in ‘The Big City Sleepout’ and will spend a night sleeping out in the cold, at the British Airways i360 Viewing Tower, in order to help vulnerable young people, who have no choice but to sleep rough. Employees from local companies including Platf9rm, Plus Accounting, Griffith Smith, Search Recruitment and Cancom are all taking part in the overnight event on Mon 16 Dec 2019.
According to research by Centrepoint, 103,000 people aged 16-25 years old are homeless or at serious risk of homelessness in the UK. Brighton & Hove has the second largest population of rough sleepers in the UK. Demand for The Clock Tower Sanctuary’s services has significantly increased this year, with 122 young people registering for the charity’s help for the first time – the highest number ever.
Frances Duncan, CEO of The Clock Tower Sanctuary, said: “Spending one night in the cold will be a challenge for our supporters, but a third of the 16-to-25 year olds who come to us for help are having to sleep rough on the streets of our city every single night. At the Clock Tower Sanctuary, we offer practical support to get young people into work and housing, along with a welcoming, warm and friendly space, which young people really value in this cold weather. We rely entirely on donations to keep our doors open and every single pound helps – £10 can pay for a young person to have a hot shower, enjoy a cooked meal and do their laundry and £25 can pay for a pair of shoes for someone who has an interview.”
Cara, who uses the day centre and is 23-years old says: “I was a care leaver when I first came to The Clock Tower Sanctuary. It was like a family vibe and I could talk about anything. My case worker helped me get my housing sorted. The staff helped me understand my mental health too. I’ve seen how The Clock Tower Sanctuary improves lives… I’ve seen people go from having nothing to being housed and safe.”
Adam, aged 24 was sleeping on Brighton beach, before being helped by the charity. He says: “With the Clock Tower Sanctuary’s help, I was able to find a career I can train in. I’m saving up for a deposit to move into rented accommodation. The Clock Tower Sanctuary believed in me and that feeling is priceless.”
Local supporter, Julian Bishop, who came up with The Big City Sleepout idea for the charity said: “Rough sleeping is visibly increasing in Brighton & Hove. The Clock Tower Sanctuary offer young homeless people a vital route off the streets and back onto their feet. The Big City Sleepout is an opportunity to show our community spirit and to raise much needed funds at a time of year when most of us are warm at home.”
Laura Pauley, from the British Airways i360 Viewing Tower said, “We are very proud to be supporting The Clock Tower Sanctuary’s Sleep out for the second year running. They do incredible work for young homeless people in Brighton & Hove and we wish them every success with reaching their fundraising target.”
The Clock Tower Sanctuary is hoping that local schools, businesses, individuals, churches and community groups will all help the charity to reach the £30,000 target this winter. Information about how to donate can be found at www.thects.org.uk/donate or at www.justgiving.com/campaign/The-Clock-Tower-Sanctuary-Winter-Appeal-2019-20