Warwickshire County Cricket Club’s official charity, the Edgbaston Foundation, recently pledged more support to young people at risk of homelessness by co-ordinating a sleepout within the grounds of its legendary Edgbaston Stadium.
Delivered in support of St Basils and sponsored by local lighting company Unilite, 45 volunteers from across the region’s business community took part in the Edgbaston Sleepout and spent an evening sleeping rough at the venue, which will host five games in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and the opening Specsavers Ashes Test match this summer.
With teams taking part from the Church of England, FBC Manby Bowdler, Barclays Corporate, HSBC and Virgin Media, almost £14,000 has been raised to date, with the funds subsequently being shared by the Edgbaston Foundation and St Basil’s to use the power of cricket to make positives changes in the lives of vulnerable young people.
Homelessness continues to be a grave issue in Birmingham and across the West Midlands. It’s essential that we unite as a community and lend our support to the work of charities, like St Basils, but also generate wider awareness of what the rough sleepers experience.Ravi Masih
Ravi Masih, Head of Community Engagement at Warwickshire CCC and lead of the Edgbaston Foundation said: “Homelessness continues to be a grave issue in Birmingham and across the West Midlands. It’s essential that we unite as a community and lend our support to the work of charities, like St Basils, but also generate wider awareness of what the rough sleepers experience.
“This is the third time that we have staged the Edgbaston Sleepout and we’re thrilled to have had the support of 45 fundraisers, who showed great enthusiasm, but also bravery in spending their first evening sleeping out rough in the stadium grounds.”
Staged for the first time in 2017, one of the success stories of the Edgbaston Sleepout has been the development of the Bears Bursary, which provides financial support through University to a young person who has experienced homelessness and has been supported by St Basils.
First Bursary recipient Demi Addison, who is studying film and animation and Birmingham City University joined the group of sleepers on the evening and presented on her life experiences and support that she has received.
“I am ever so grateful for the support that St. Basils have given me and now the Edgbaston Foundation through the Bears Bursary,” said Demi.
“The funding received means I can get through my studies without having to worry about how I will cope with some of the everyday costs.
“In addition, the volunteering opportunity with the Foundation will give me skills and professional development that will hopefully serve me well for any future employment once I graduate. It was wonderful to meet the sleepers to say thank you first hand and to encourage more support for students like me.”