EREWASH MP Jessica Lee, The Mayor of Erewash, Cllr Kevin Miller, and Erewash Borough Council Leader, Cllr Chris Corbett will all be sleeping rough next month to raise awareness and cash for a local homeless charity.
The Canaan Trust has been helping and supporting the needs of homeless men in Erewash since 1995.
The Long Eaton-based charity provides support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and has started to fundraise after deciding not to apply for a £125,000 contract with Derbyshire County Council.
Project manager, Kevin Curtis, said: “Although £125,000 is a lot of money we just have to get on with things.
“The contract with the county council would have restricted the amount of support we could provide for people and I didn’t want that to happen.
“What’s important to us is that we continue providing a year round 24/7 service and applying for the contract would have stopped us from doing that and left people without vital support and services.
“Homelessness is alive and well, people think it is a problem that only exists in big cities but that’s not the case. We help people from Ilkeston, Long Eaton and surrounding areas.”
The sponsored sleep out, on April 2, has been planned to help raise awareness as well as cash for the trust.
Figures released last week by the government showed that the number of rough sleepers in the East Midlands is up by 55 per cent year on year. They also showed that because of cuts there are 32 per cent less beds for homeless people to sleep in.
Kevin said: “It is ironic that at a time when the number of homeless people is rising and the figure is likely to carry on going up because of the financial situation, organisations are being forced to close.
“But these figures are the reason we’re determined to carry on offering the vital service we do.
“We just want as many people as possible to give us £1. I know that times are tough for everyone but they’re especially tough for people with nowhere to live and those who don’t know where their next meal will come from and a quid will go a long way to helping solve this problem.”
A spokesman for Derbyshire County Council said: “The Canaan Trust chose not to apply for this money. The needs of vulnerable people in the area will continue to be met by another provider.”
To donate to the trust text ABED14 and your donation to 70070.