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Doing their bit to highlight homelessness

Date: 31/01/2008           Category: Members Services / Chief Executive Office

Council staff brave the cold to highlight homelessness Medway Council’s Chief Executive and members of the council's Waste Minimisation Team battened down the hatches of their artistically designed cardboard box homes when they slept rough for charity. Chief Executive Neil Davies, officers Sarah Dagwell, Stephen Baker, Matt Feakings and Cllr Glyn Griffiths joined more than 180 people for the annual mhs homes charity sleep-out to raise awareness of homelessness. Between them they raised more than £1,000, which will be split between local homeless charity Emmaus and the Macmillian cancer unit at Medway Maritime Hospital. The event was one of the largest mass sleep-outs in the country and took place at Chatham Maritime last Saturday (26 January). Sarah, Stephen and Matt from the Waste Minimisation Team turned their temporary cardboard home into an eye-catching waste recycling vehicle, that included a ‘working hopper’ to collect cans, card, paper and glass. Their creative talents won the team a prize and raised £400 for the charities. Waste Minimisation Manager Sarah Dagwell said: “We had a great night, despite the bitterly cold winds. “We didn’t get a great deal of sleep but it made us all appreciate our beds when we got home, something a lot of people don’t have the privilege of doing. It was a fun night, but also helped highlight a very serious message about homelessness. We hope the money we raised will help people who find themselves homeless.” Cllr Glyn Griffiths, his daughter and niece raised £400 by sleeping in a cardboard box that had been decorated by pupils at Danecourt Community School in Gillingham. Neil Davies, who raised a similar amount said: " This experience highlighted the extreme difficulties faced by homeless and vulnerable people in our community. "mhs, who organised the sleep-out, excelled with the preparation - it is expected that some £25,000 will be raised for two very important charities." Neil's cardboard box was decorated by reception class pupils at St Mary's Island Primary School, with a remit to be as colourful as possible.