Chess Homeless – Super Sleepout

Last Wednesday, six members of Ascend Broking participated in the remarkable Essex Super Sleepout charity fundraiser. They braved a night sleeping rough at The Essex County Cricket Ground to raise funds for two worthy charities: CHESS Homeless Charity in Chelmsford and the Essex Cricket Foundation.
CHESS Homeless Charity provides support for homeless individuals through temporary accommodation, 1-1 support, mental health and wellbeing courses, and guidance to external agencies when needed. The Essex Cricket Foundation focuses on developing cricketers and enhancing the cricket environment in Essex. They offer Disability Cricket, Women & Girls initiatives, and street programmes across the county, ensuring people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to experience the sport.
Marianne, Stuart and Freddy from Ascend, along with Lianne and Lucy from SMP Healthcare, joined the sleepout event, spending the night in Chelmsford cricket club stands from 10pm to 6.30am. Arriving at 8pm, they joined six other participants, equipped with sleeping bags, pillows, and snacks. After being provided with hats and hand warmers, they played a game of cricket before attempting to sleep.

The sleepout

Further into the night the temperature dropped, the team prepared for a challenging sleep in the stands. Some managed to sleep for a few hours, while others didn't sleep at all. However, they all understood that their experience paled in comparison to the daily struggles faced by homeless individuals.
A memorable highlight of the evening was the unexpected visit from Graham Gooch, the former England cricket captain and current Essex Cricket coach. Gooch spent a few hours with the team, showing his support for their cause.
In the morning, the team enjoyed warming soup and bacon rolls, marking the end of their challenge. They were overwhelmed by the support they received from colleagues, family, friends, and the wider community. Altogether, they managed to raise an impressive £3,000.
The team was delighted to make a difference and contribute to the efforts of both charities. Freddy, an Ascend apprentice, described the experience as "powerful and eye-opening," bringing the team together to make a positive impact. The event showcased how even a small group can create a significant impact and positive change within their local community.
Super Sleep Out – Chess Homeless

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