A 34-strong team from Paragon Bank’s Solihull office braved the cold on Friday 30 November to take part in the UK's first ever Mortgage Sleep Out. Swapping their warm beds for a night in a cardboard box, Paragon employees raised over £11,500 in sponsorship and donations for charity partner End Youth Homelessness.
The Paragon Sleep Out was one of a network of mortgage industry events that took place across the country on Friday, at the same time as St Basils own BIG Birmingham SleepOut in the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral and the proceeds from Paragon’s Sleep Out will go to St Basils as we are affiliated with the End Youth Homelessness movement.
St Basils help young people aged 16-25 across Birmingham and the West Midlands, offering a range of preventative, accommodation, support and engagement services to young people in need.
In Solihull, St Basils run a Youth Hub drop-in advice centre, a range of emergency accommodation schemes and a semi-supported accommodation facility at Mildenhall House close to the town centre.
The Paragon Sleep Out team raised over £5,500 through sponsorship, cake and samosa sales before Paragon’s senior management stepped in with a pledge to double their fundraising efforts with a generous company contribution.
The Solihull team spent the evening under the stars in the office courtyard at Homer Road. After a fiercely-fought cardboard construction competition, the team kept warm with some late-night football in the basement car park and bit of chat. People headed to ‘bed’ from 1 am onwards and then it was sleep for the rest of the night until heavy rain provided a wake-up call at 6 am.
Mike Potter, Mortgage Lending Director at Paragon said: “The Paragon team were quick to get on board with this national mortgage industry event. Homelessness can strike at any time and you often feel powerless to help. Joining forces with End Youth Homeless and St Basil’s means that the funds raised will help make a positive difference to young people locally.”
Steve Rainbow, Fundraising Events Manager at St Basil’s who stopped by to give the Paragon team some encouragement said: “Thanks to everyone at Paragon who supported the Sleep Out challenge. Your contribution will enable us to work with more young people facing the prospect of homelessness this Christmas and literally change young lives for the better.”