[T]here’s a ‘cool’ team spirit amongst staff at Eden Housing Association (EHA) this week as they prepare for their night supporting the Cumbria Community Foundation Big Sleep on Saturday 28th January. A team of five staff, plus two co-opted supporters have called themselves “Really Very Cool and the Gang” in anticipation of finding out what it’s like spending a night outdoors in winter.
The Big Sleep is a Cumbrian event organised by Cumbria Community Foundation (CCF) to raise awareness and funds for their Winter Warmth Fund. This is the fourth year for what has become an annual CCF appeal, which has so far attracted over 500 people who have raised £75,000.
Really Very Cool and The Gang have set themselves a target of raising £500, but are hoping for more. They are raising their profile to pull in the pounds, and have set up a Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EHA
Last year, John Clasper, Managing Director of EHA took part in the event with Chief Executives from two other housing associations and it inspired the wider leadership team to join in 2017 This year the female led team includes their Finance Director Kristina Thrush, Neighbourhood Manager Jenny Everingham, Customer Service Manager Heidi Ware, Gill Walton, Supported Housing Manager plus Interim Property Manager Ian McBlain and his wife. Also joining the team is Tracey Errington, a consultant working with EHA for over a decade.
Kristina Thrush, Finance Director said: “Cumbria Community Foundation always does a great job supporting the community and they do a fantastic job distributing the pot of cash raised by the Big Sleep to help older people suffering from rising fuel costs and poor health. The challenge is annual and constant so it’s important that we keep the momentum of fund raising going. CCF has a target of £110,000 and they are currently 88% of the way there. We’re looking forward to making a difference.”
Jenny Everingham, Neighbourhood Manager said: “Eden has a very high population of older people and is also very rural, which means people living without mains gas have higher fuel costs. It makes things very difficult for people living on low incomes who may have to choose between food and heating. It’s a real challenge so we want to raise awareness as well as funds to support our communities. We’re all looking forward to the challenge of sleeping outdoors, some of us enjoy camping in the summer, but in winter – it will be a different story!”
The night under the stars takes place on Saturday night in a very wet field by the Low Wood Hotel, Ambleside in near freezing conditions. It is hoped the deluges of rain the county has experienced in the last month doesn’t interfere with the event.
Anyone wanting to contribute to the fund raising can donate on the Just Giving Page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EHA
For more information about the Big Sleep event and the Winter Warmth Fund, visit www.cumbriafoundation.org/bigsleep