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St Basil's hopes for bigger total on Corporate Sleep Out night.

Intrepid fund-raisers are signing up for the Corporate Sleep Out to support the charity St Basil's.

More than 80 people took part in the first Corporate Sleep Out in 2008 and there are hopes to have even more to support the work of the charity which helps young people facing homelessness.

This year will be the 20th anniversary of the BIG Sleep Out, planned at the charity's headquarters in Digbeth on Friday, December 4. This alternative will be Friday, November 13 and will bring together a wide range of business people.

Nick Venning, chairman, St Basil's Fund-raising & External Relations Committee, said: "Whilst one night may be nothing compared to sleeping out every night, spending a few hours on the street overnight will give you a flavour of what it's like for those who do have to do it regularly.

"Having said that, speak to anyone who did it last year and they will probably tell you how much they enjoyed the experience!

"Last year, a very sporting group of 80-plus intrepid people took part in our first, and highly successful, Corporate Sleep Out; this event raised over pounds 28,000 for our work with homeless young people and those in danger of becoming homeless."

Steve Rainbow, the Sleep Out coordinator, said: "The St Basil's City Slickers Sleep Out had its first outing last year and was a huge success. The idea came from the St Basil's BIG Sleep Out becoming very big and over-crowded.

"So we had to create an overflow event and in doing so we designed it for the business sector.

"It's as much a networking event as it is a fund-raiser and last year CSSO attracted over 70 leading business executives and raised over pounds 25,000.

We provide food and wine and, of course, cardboard boxes.

"The main sponsor of the various St Basil's Sleep Out events are Jaffabox, based near Birmingham airport, which provide literally tonnes of cardboard boxes directly to the various Sleep Out venues.

"It is vital that we continue to have these annual fund-raising events so that we can reach our financial target.

"People offer to sleep rough in cardboard boxes and get sponsored so that young people in danger of becoming homeless don't have to... and it works.

"Just look in the doorways of Birmingham at night.

"You'll be very unlucky if you find a young person aged 16 to 25 sleeping there.

"How many other major cities in Europe can say that?" This year's City Slickers Sleep Out is on Friday November 13 at St Basil's in Digbeth.

If you are interested in attending the craziest and yet most respected fund-raising and corporate networking event please contact the Sleep Out Team at fundraising@stbasils.org.uk or phone 0121 772 9623.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 3, 2009
Words:461
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