Emmaus Bolton is calling on businesses, organisations and individuals to take part in a ‘Tough Sleep’ at Bolton Wanderers FC, and help raise money for four local charities supporting vulnerable people.

The sleepout at Toughsheet Community Stadium has been organised by Bolton Wanderers FC in partnership with official club charity Bolton Wanderers in the Community and takes place on March 22 from 8pm to 8am.

The fundraiser occurs 70 years since a radio address from the founder of Emmaus, Abbe Pierre, triggered an outpouring of support for people who were sleeping rough on the streets of France, and played a part in the setting up of the first Emmaus communities in the UK.

Sleepout organisers are asking for people to raise a minimum of £100, which will be shared between the club’s official charity Bolton Wanderers in the Community, Urban Outreach and Backup Bolton and Emmaus Bolton – all of which support some of the town’s most vulnerable people.

Sleepout Alongside Emmaus Bolton

Director of Emmaus Bolton, Tony Stephenson, said: “Emmaus Bolton is privileged to be able to take part in this fundraiser organised by Bolton Wanderers FC and Bolton Wanderers in the Community, alongside other local charities Backup North West and Urban Outreach.

“It has been 70 years since the radio address by the founder of the Emmaus movement Abbe Pierre called for community kindness, and this year we’re asking people in Bolton to do the same. By signing up, fundraising or donating to people who are sleeping out, you’ll be helping four local charities help people in Bolton who are in need.

“Sadly, rough sleeping was the harsh reality for some of the people supported by Emmaus Bolton, and not just for one night, some people lived like this for many years. We hope this event will help raise awareness of the hardships faced by people who are rough sleeping while helping raise money to support people at the same time.”

Everyone signed up to the event will have the opportunity to hear presentations about each of the charities and receive food and refreshments.

Support The Most Vulnerable

Phil Mason, CEO of Bolton Wanderers in the Community, said: “We are proud to once again be hosting this event with the aim to raise both awareness and funds for the local Bolton charities that do so much good work in our community to support the most vulnerable.

“We had a successful Sleepout last year in testing conditions, raising an incredible £27,000 – and I’m sure that this year we can push that even further.

“I encourage as many supporters as possible to take on this unique challenge to do something special for our community here in Bolton.”

CEOs Taking Part

Bolton Wanderers’ CEO, Neil Hart, said: “As a club, we are proud to support our official charity, Bolton Wanderers in the Community, as well as the vital work of the other remarkable local charities that will be involved.

“We had a fantastic response to our inaugural Sleepout and we were delighted to raise a significant amount through the event to tangibly benefit people in the community.

“I’ll be taking part again this year and I hope we can encourage as many people as possible to join us to help surpass last year’s total.”

Emmaus Bolton provides a home and meaningful work to up to 22 people with experience of homelessness. The aim of our social enterprises is to generate enough for the community to be self-sustainable.

Help Four Bolton Charities

Backup North West provide high quality, holistic housing and support services across Bolton to young people aged 16-25 years who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness.

Urban Outreach deliver services to move homeless people and those who are difficult to house into suitable and sustainable accommodation – so no one has to resort to living on the streets of Bolton at any time.

Bolton Wanderers in the Community deliver projects and initiatives to support children, families and older adults who may be experiencing hardship and multiple disadvantages, exacerbated by the current economic climate.

Sign up To Join The Sleepout

Anyone who would like to sign up is encouraged to do so as soon as possible as places are limited and pay £10 to confirm your place here: https://www.bwitc.org.uk/our-events/bwfc-tough-sleep/.

Donate To Our Sleepout JustGiving Page

If you can’t sleep out, but would like to donate to the fundraiser in support of the Emmaus Bolton team taking part in the event, you can make a donation here: https://www.justgiving.com/page/emmaus-bolton-bwfc-sleepout.