Almost 100 people took part in The Lady Mayoress’ Sleep Out at Guildhall Yard from Wednesday 30 to Thursday 31 March. Despite the weather being a little damp to start with and very cold, brave participants – including the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress – slept outside all night until the morning to raise awareness of homelessness in the City and to raise funds for The Lord Mayor’s Appeal and Spitalfields Crypt Trust.
The event kicked off at 9pm with participants arriving for hot drinks and to choose their sleeping spots, followed by speeches from Lord Mayor Alderman Vincent Keaveny and CEO of Spitalfields Crypt Trust, Tony Chasteauneuf. After a long night, a well-deserved hearty breakfast was kindly provided by The Cook & The Butler before participants headed home for hot showers.
10% of the net proceeds from the event will be donated to Spitalfields Crypt Trust, an East London charity helping the local community to recover from homelessness, addictions, and other complex needs. The remainder of the net proceeds will go to The Lord Mayor’s Appeal and its beneficiary charities, some of which focus on mental health issues which are often one of the main causes of homelessness.
Homelessness is an issue close to The Lady Mayoress heart as she has volunteered with the homeless for many years and seen first-hand the importance of awareness. It is the small things that make the biggest difference – a helping hand, a hot meal, someone to talk to. The hardest thing for many homeless people is overcoming the situation and making that first step in asking for help. There are currently approximately 11,000 people sleeping rough in London. This number significantly increased during the Pandemic due to a shortage of affordable housing, benefit cuts and cuts to homeless services and charities.
The Lord Mayor’s Appeal would like to thank everyone who participated in the event or supported the event by making a donation. Special thanks to The Cook & The Butler for kindly providing the catering free of charge.