Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough was among more than 150 participants to take part in a sponsored sleepout at Bramall Lane.The event, named Sleepout United – the first of its kind at Bramall Lane – could provide a boost of more than £10,000 to local homeless charities Roundabout and St Wilfrid’s Centre.
Club staff – including Clough, Managing Director Mal Brannigan and Head of Finance Richard Poole – joined Blades fans from across the region in using cardboard and sleeping bags to spend the night in designated areas around the stadium.
The Blades boss said: “Sheffield United will always pride itself on being a family club. We enjoy wonderful relationships with the local community and we’re proud to support two fantastic causes in Roundabout and St. Wilfrid’s.
“Sleepout United has given participants a taste of sleeping rough but it is nowhere near as tough as it can be if you’re doing it night after night. I hope the event has gone some way to raising both funds and awareness for both charities.
“There was a wonderful atmosphere on the night and I was delighted to share the experience with a number of our fans.”
The evening saw entertainment in the shape of performances from the Dinnington Colliery Brass Band and Bolsterstone Male Voice Choir, whilst Coronation Street actor Joe Duttine and former Blades legend Tony Currie spoke to participants in the stands.
Lights then went out at 11pm before the event was brought to a close at 7am the following morning.
One of the organisers of the event, Amy Casbolt, fundraising co-ordinator at Roundabout, said: “Sleepout United has been a tremendous success.
“Events such as these are vital for charities such as Roundabout and St. Wilfrid’s as the funds raised helps to keep our services running.
“Raising awareness of the ever increasing problem of homelessness is also important as there are a lot of vulnerable people – young and old – in the city that need our support.
“They may be struggling to find accommodation or rough sleeping and this sort of event - although not the same as being homeless - does help to raise awareness and make you think about
what it might be like to not have a bed for the night.”
Roundabout provides assistance to more than 150 homeless young people in Sheffield aged 16 to 25 every day. The charity provides shelter, support and life skills, and offers advice and family mediation for those at risk of losing their home.
St Wilfrid's Centre, located on Queens Road, supports homeless, vulnerable and socially excluded adults in Sheffield, providing essential welfare services including food and clothing, together with personal development activities to develop life, social and employability skills for up to 60 clients every weekday.
Footage from Sleepout United can be viewed on Sheffield United’s YouTube channel and on Blades Player: