Headed by their Chair Amy Leader (pictured below), the RICS Matrics UK Board along with local groups and RICS staff took to the streets of Westminster on 21st April to sleep rough just like thousands of homeless people in Britain experience every night.
The event was is part Amy’s RICS Matrics Chairman’s Challenge which so far has raised in excess of £7,000 for CRASH charity.
“This challenge will give us all a real insight into the reality faced by thousands of homeless people in Britain as well as providing the opportunity to raise the profile of the charity and the homeless crisis Britain is currently facing,” says Amy. “I’m blessed that I have never experienced anything like this before and I think it’s going to be a real mental challenge for all of us. I’m extremely nervous.
“Since becoming involved with CRASH I’ve learnt so much. I confess I didn’t have a clue what a crisis Britain is in, with the number of homeless doubling in the past five years. I was very fortunate at my last RICS Matrics Assembly to have the CEO of a homeless charity that had been supported by CRASH. It was really inspiring to hear directly just what a difference the charity can make, not only in providing the facilities that support the homeless, but also giving them the confidence to grow by providing valuable work experience.
“It feels amazing that the money raised will help unlock pro bono expertise and building materials from patron companies, helping to on average double the benefit homeless charities receive.”
The sleepout is all the more poignant given that the most recent figures released by Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) showed that Westminster’s streets have the highest number of rough sleepers in England.
The statistical release, which provides information on rough sleeping counts and estimates carried out by local authorities between 1 October and 30 November 2016, showed the overall number of people sleeping rough on England’s streets has risen by a further 16%.
This year, for the first time, the release also included some basic demographic information about those found sleeping rough, covering gender, age and nationality.
Of the all rough sleepers counted in autumn 2016:
• 12% were women
• 7% were under 25 years of age
• 17% were EU nationals from outside the UK
• 5% were from outside the EU
If you would like to support Amy and her colleagues from across the UK in their challenge please see https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Amy-Leader-CRASH