Supporting the Homeless in Swindon
With help from a little cardboard and some sleeping bags, staff at Excalibur Communications have raised over £2,000 to support the homeless by spending a night in a tarmacked company car park.
The 20-strong team of Excalibur volunteers also braved the elements to raise awareness of homelessness in the United Kingdom more generally—as homeless charity Shelter estimates the number of people it affects to have exceeded a quarter of a million.
Between 8pm and 8am, personnel from every department at the Swindon-based provider of mobile and IT services were exposed to a small taste of sleeping outside the comfort of a nice warm bed, although CEO James Phipps admitted their experience might have been much, much more severe:
“After the recent cold snap, I think we were extremely lucky that the overnight temperatures were around double figures”, he said. “But to think how night after night, homeless people often have to cope during winter in sub-zero conditions – not to mention the dangers of sleeping rough, is beyond most of us. Psychologically, it was easy for us knowing that this was just for one night but it still made the Excalibur team think long and hard about how tough it must be when the streets are somebody’s home and how vulnerable these people are.”
As a consequence of more than doubling its target for donations, Excalibur is splitting the £2,000+ raised between the Wiltshire Air Ambulance service which does not receive UK government funding and has flown more than 600, usually life-saving, missions in 2016; and independent charity Threshold Housing Link which provides emergency short, medium and long-term accommodation for single homeless people in Swindon.
There is still time to donate—Please contact Excalibur on +44 (0)1793 438881 to discover how.