On Saturday 6 May Richard Porter, who leads the Thompson Smith and Puxon (TSP) Employment team, took part in the ‘Big Sleep Out’ fundraising event in Colchester Castle Park. The idea of the ‘Big Sleep Out’ was for business professionals and members of the local community to sleep rough for one night, in the process raising money to support two local charities: The Samaritans and Beacon House.

The event was organised by the Rotary Club of Colchester Forum and was supported by local figures including the Mayor Julie Young, the Bishop of Colchester and local MP Will Quince. The event also encouraged local businesses to take part to raise money for their community.

The participants started their night setting up a range of shelters including cardboard boxes and pop up tents before settling down to try and get some sleep. They were supported through the night with a supply of hot drinks and the thought of a good breakfast in the morning, kindly provided by McDonalds. Although the temperature dropped making it an unseasonably cold night, luck was on their side as rain stayed away allowing them to stay dry!

Richard Porter raised a fantastic £440 for his efforts and in total the event raised over £11,000 which will be split between the two charities Samaritans and Beacon House.

The Rotary Club of  Colchester Forum –  Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland (RIBI) is an association of over 1,800 clubs with more than 50,000 members from all walks of life. In Colchester, there are five clubs within the Borough. The Rotary Club of Colchester Forum has over 50 members. They raise money mainly for local community projects and some international ones too.

Beacon House – Beacon House is a Christian charity that was established to help homeless people, those in insecure accommodation and those at high risk of homelessness. Beacon House offers a wide range of support services providing a necessary and vital lifeline to people who are homeless.

The Samaritans – The Samaritans’ vision is to reduce the amount of people who die by suicide.  They are available 24 hours a day to provide emotional support for people who are struggling to cope.