Employees of Swindon-based IT firm Excalibur who braved near-freezing temperatures in an overnight 'sleep out' have raised £4,000 for a shelter for the homeless.
In its fifth year of supporting Swindon’s homeless, 17 colleagues took part in the event of Friday (January 18), sleeping on cardboard in the company car park.
The £2,000 raised was match-funded by James Phipps, Excalibur's executive chairman, via his Younite charity foundation, to make a total of £4,000 for Swindon Night Shelter.
Swindon Night Shelter's New Haven Centre, which was officially launched on January 2, is designed to bring together various providers under one roof.
It will teach cooking and household management skills, provide basic IT training and show clients how to write CVs, apply for jobs and access the benefits system.
Swindon Night Shelter hopes homeless clients will gain the skills and knowledge they need to navigate finding permanent accommodation and a job.
The Haven Centre will work with Swindon Borough Council to find housing solutions for clients.
Excalibur CEO, Peter Boucher said: "We wanted our night of discomfort to raise awareness of homelessness in Swindon as well as raise money for the Night Shelter, which does such fantastic work to support local homeless people.
"Homelessness is sadly rife across the UK and we, at Excalibur, wanted to do something to help those individuals who have ended up having to sleeping rough.”
Becky Davison from the Swindon Night Shelter, said; “We are very grateful for the money raised by the Excalibur Sleep Out for the new Haven Centre.
"As well as providing temporary shelter to homeless people, we aim to up-skill them and assist them back into the permanent accommodation and the workplace.
"This money will support many people to use the Haven. We have no regular funding and rely entirely on the generosity of donors and businesses like Excalibur.”