28th January 2016
Three Housing Association Chiefs will be finding out what it is like to really suffer the cold when they take part in the Big Sleep – the Cumbrian event organised by Cumbria Community Foundation (CCF) to raise awareness and funds for the Winter Warmth Fund. The Housing Chiefs set themselves a target of raising over £1,000 and are geared up for a cold night at Windermere.
John Clasper Managing Director of Eden Housing Association has taken part in the event in the past and was keen to rally other housing leaders to participate. In November Mike Muir, CEO at Impact Housing, Cath Purdy, CEO at South Lakes Housing and Stephanie Murphy from Two Castles Housing Association all agreed to join John at the Big Sleep, raising the profile and gathering pounds to support the Winter Warmth Fund.
This is the third year for what has become an annual CCF appeal, which has so far raised £75,000 this winter. John Clasper said: “ I remember being without heating in my own home during one winter for only a couple of days and how miserable that made me feel, in Eden District we have a higher rate of older people than in most parts of the UK so I was very keen to support the winter warmth appeal. The previous Big Sleep I participated in was an incredible event, not only in raising money but creating awareness that so many older people in Cumbria die because of the effect of cold weather. It’s unbelievable that during a bad winter around 300 older people in Cumbria die, with many thought to have to choose between heating their homes and eating a meal.
“There has been real comradery in our group, though sadly Stephanie is no longer able to join us on the night. Cumbria Community Foundation makes it a night to remember and the Spirit of Cumbria will be on show as it has been during the floods.”
Mike Muir, CEO at Impact Housing Association said: “Lots of our tenants and residents are on low incomes and fixed pensions and the particularly poor weather we’ve seen makes it even more difficult for them. We wanted to show our joint commitment to the cause and will raise money towards the fund which helps keep older people in Cumbria safe and warm. ”
The third member of the Housing Chiefs to camp out is Cath Purdy, CEO at South Lakes Housing. “We signed up to the event weeks before the devastating effects of Storm Desmond, so what we’re doing has become even more important. The Community Foundation has raised more than £4.5 million towards the Flood Appeal, but it means fundraising for other causes has been slower. There are still lots of older people really needing help, CCF has already given out £100,000 to help older people keep warm this winter, but they have only had £75,000 in donations so far. We’re hoping our contribution will help make a difference.”
The night under the stars takes place in a very wet field by the Low Wood Hotel, Ambleside in near freezing conditions. It is hoped the deluges of rain the county has experienced in the last month doesn’t interfere with the event.
Anyone wanting to contribute to the fund raising can donate on the Chief Exec Just Giving Page www.justgiving.com/cxbigsleep