Logicor’s very own Tori Watling, among many other brave souls, participated in the first ever SleepOut for LandAid House this month.
The SleepOut saw 187 property professionals spend a night sleeping in Spitalfields Market in support of LandAid’s capital appeal to raise £1.5m for the rebuilding of the City YMCA London hostel in Islington. Opening in 2019, the new accommodation will provide 146 young people with a safe, secure and affordable place to live.
The timing of the SleepOut coincided with unimaginably cold conditions, with temperatures dropping to -5 degrees on the 1st March as a result of ‘the beast from the east’. If there is ever a time to understand how the homeless feel, that night might have come close.
On the experience, Tori explains: “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t dreading the thought of sleeping out in the days leading up and when I arrived at the event itself I could tell I was not the only one.
“This being said, the LandAid staff and their volunteers were all very positive on the evening and the set-up had been completed extremely well with a very humble layout of some board games in a lit-up area along with a basic soup kitchen providing hot drinks and some food that had been donated by Pret. Moods were lifted very quickly upon arrival.”
Those sleeping out were joined in the evening by young people who have experienced first-hand the support of City YMCA London, and what it feels like to be homeless in London. They shared their stories, from the very tough times to the positive changes they’ve experienced as a direct result of the help the YMCA has provided.
“When it came to beds down and lights off, it was very hard to get to sleep,” Tori continues. “I live on a busy road so I was expecting to find it easier than most but hearing the sirens from police cars and general street noise so close was quite unnerving and I just couldn’t get in a comfortable position to nod off.
“I finally got to sleep and woke up very bleary eyed around 6am feeling disorientated and could feel the cold throughout my legs. However, as LandAid’s Paul Morrish reminded us on the night, what we did was not really rough sleeping, so it was great to hear from the residents of City YMCA London to appreciate exactly how the funds raised would be used and to know that it really is going to make a difference. The stories they told were enlightening and left me with a renewed appreciation of the things many of us take for granted.”
Tori’s efforts have already raised an incredible £5,700, including matched funding by Logicor, and there’s still time to donate!
So far, the combined efforts of all those involved in this year’s SleepOut have raised over £150,000 and this figure is growing daily. A big thanks to everyone who has donated so far.