Although one of our core business objectives is to be a leading power module manufacturer, one of our core values is to ensure we help those in need. Our production facility is based on Serbia, and we therefore have an ingrained sense of the need to help those who, for whatever reason, find themselves without a home.
We’ve been supporting the Wellingborough Homeless Forum since early 2018 after we heard about this community-led initiative from an employee. The Forum is made up from local organisations and individuals who, among other work, provide a roaming night shelter. There was obviously a clear and urgent need for this facility and we were pleased to get by donating PAT tested electrical items and a Smart Charge.
When we saw that the Forum had teamed up with Wellingborough & District Lions to host a Sleep Out on 6th October 2018 to raise funds for a permanent building for the winter night shelter, we knew we had to take part.
Two representatives from ABL volunteered to join in and together they raised sponsorship of £300 to help towards the costs of moving into the building.
In total, 21 volunteers gathered in a church hall garden and set up camp with our sleeping bags and cardboard boxes out on the grass, protected by plastic sheeting. We had tea and cake, a visit from the mayor, and a competition for the most creative dwelling, before the time came to settle down in our beds for the night.
The night of the Sleep Out was very cold. We were relieved that the rain had stopped by the early evening, however the temperature had still dropped to 3 degrees by the early hours of the following morning.
It was a long, cold and uncomfortable night but most of us managed to get a few hours’ sleep before waking up to ice on the groundsheet. The clear night gave us a wonderful view of the stars as a backdrop to our thoughts as we reflected on the difficulties faced by the homeless community. When morning arrived, we were lucky enough to be provided with hot drinks and a cooked breakfast.
Overall the event was a great success. Amanda Coleshill, President of Wellingborough & District Lions commented, “The response to Wellingborough & District Lions Club first SleepOut event was quite overwhelming. Not only did we raise over £3,000 for the Wellingborough Homeless Forum Winter Night Shelter, we raised also awareness of homelessness. Thank you to all the participants, sponsors and supporters who together have made a real difference.”