Lettings Manager Fabian Akinola, and Sales Managers Emma Nettleingham and Alex Vine from London property agency ludlowthompson are what we like to call 'Sleep Out aficionados', with the company – and our corporate partner – supporting our annual event for the last 15 years.
As such, we spoke to Fabian, Emma and Alex to see what they like most about Sleep Out and what keeps them coming back every year.
Why do you enjoy getting involved in sleep out?
Emma: It’s a great opportunity to part of an event that helps those that are less fortunate. The entertainment and activities makes the evening really enjoyable, but it does make you see how lucky we are.
Alex: I agree – It’s a fantastic event, very well put together by the organizers and it allows us the opportunity to raise awareness and much needed support for a problem we see but don’t act on every other day.
Fabian: This upcoming Sleep Out will be my seventh year in a row. I’ve loved taking part – it’s a well thought out and positive event that offers so much, from the Sleep Out itself to the odd celebrities and the activities that you can join in with throughout the evening. I have always been interested in charity/fundraising; I like to give back in some way or another and the Sleep Out has given me the platform to be able to do that. It’s not because I enjoy cold weather, that’s for sure!
Why do you think sleep out is so important?
Fabian: It highlights and raises awareness of the plight that many young homeless people go through, and the money raised helps them in so many ways: providing them with support and shelter, and supporting them through training, education and development. I think there’s a lack of awareness and understanding of what young homeless people endure, especially in this day and age. The Sleep Out – and Centrepoint in general – does a huge amount to bring these issues to the forefront of public consciousness.
Emma: I think it’s so important to continue to highlight the issue regarding how many homeless people we have in the UK, especially when they’re so young. Having an event where people sponsor you definitely helps to raise more money and awareness for the charity. It’s also a great opportunity to keep the charity in the front of people’s minds and get them involved as much as possible.
Alex: The money raised will provide much-needed support to the homeless, but I also think that raising awareness among our peers is really crucial, and only helps to encourage them to contribute to the charity in the future.
As a team, what does sleep out do for office morale?
Alex: It has a great impact. The competitive nature of the fundraising works really well with the personnel in our industry.
Emma: It’s great that we take part in the event as a company; it plays on the competitive side of the team which hopefully ensures the maximum amount is raised. Personally, wanting to raise the most makes sure you really do push on the donations and spread the awareness as much as possible. It also brings everyone together with a main focus, which I think is really important.
Fabian: Beyond allowing us to all rally towards raising as much as possible for a fantastic cause, it’s a great out-of-office activity for our team and generally brings plenty of positivity.
What would you say to other corporate teams who have never experienced sleep out and are thinking of signing up next year?
Alex: It’s a fantastic cause, a well-organized event and it really brings the company together.
Emma: Although Sleep Out’s main priority is to raise money for Centrepoint, it’s a great way for a company to come together with a common goal. It definitely brings everyone closer and the event itself is really well thought out and put together perfectly.
Fabian: It’s an event that really goes towards making a massive difference in young people’s lives. Sleep Out isn’t trying to replicate rough sleeping, but just gives individuals an insight into what young people go through and the massive amount of work that comes from the fundraising teams to raise money for the cause. With music, great people and loads on offer to be involved in, as well as the healthy competition with other companies that the fundraising offers, it’s an experience not to be missed.
And if the kind words of Fabian, Emma and Alex weren’t enough to convince you, Stephen Ludlow, Executive Chairman of ludlowthompson, has his own reasons to get involved in Sleep Out every year:
“Sleep Out has been ludlowthompson’s marquee fundraiser each and every year for 15 years. All of our offices are keen to represent and raise the maximum amount of money for Centrepoint, which is a testament to the charity and the cause it represents. Centrepoint not only supports a young person’s immediate need and pastoral care but encourages them to follow their ambition, giving them a chance at a future through educational programmes, employment opportunities and ultimately, the potential of secure independent living. These are all things that young people deserve the chance to work towards and realistically achieve, and Centrepoint strives to make those aspirations a reality.”
Centrepoint's corporate Sleep Out takes place on Thursday 21 November in London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.