6th February 2017
For Eden Housing Association (EHA), no team activity could have resulted in a cooler reception or a tighter bond for the seven team members who camped out for the Cumbria Community Foundation Big Sleep at the weekend. The success of their night in the rain and sleet resulted in the team more than doubling their original fundraising target.
Having decided to take part in the sleep just a week before the event, the EHA team – who called themselves The Really Very Cool and The Gang, set themselves an initial target of raising £500. But it was their epic and occasionally calamitous ‘journey’ that encouraged others to donate and the team has already doubled their original target, raising over £1,000.
The team of seven changed on the afternoon of the event when one member’s car failed en-route. A new driver volunteered and the team continued to the Windermere lake side venue. After pitching tents between the heavy rain showers the team enjoyed a hit supper and entertainment before retiring to the tents for the night amidst rain and sleet.
Sadly one of the tents sprang a leak which meant Jenny Everingham and Heidi Ware had to abandon their tent, joining Tracey Errington for a cosy night under a dry canvas.
The Big Sleep is a Cumbrian event organised by Cumbria Community Foundation (CCF) to raise awareness and funds for their Winter Warmth Fund. This is the fourth year for what has become an annual CCF appeal, the target set for this year is £110,000 and they have already collected over £98,000.
Commenting on the Big Sleep, Heidi Ware, Customer Services Manager at EHA said “I’m not really a camper so the whole experience was a real eye opener. There were numerous families taking part together and the children all loved it. CCF showed a video which featured the people who have benefitted from the fund in the past – it was great to see for ourselves, just how the winter warmth fund makes such an impact.
“Our own team adventure was challenging and we were sorry that Gill Walton could not join us. Her place was taken by Campbell Donald who drove our Finance Director Kristina Thrush to Windermere and stayed to fill our spare place. It was lovely to have Ian and Sadie McBlain on the team – Ian is covering an interim post at EHA but has really become part of the team, we were also pleased that Tracey Errington came along – she captured the night on camera and also shared her tent when ours was waterlogged.”
Every year over 300 older people die in Cumbria because of the effects of cold weather. Launched in 2010, the Big Sleep has raised more than £450,000 and kept 3,500 older people across the country warm during the cold months. In the last two years over 500 people have taken part and raised over £75,000.
Staff teams from Eden Housing Association staff have been part of teams taking part in the event for the last three years and have so far raised over £4,700.
Anyone wanting to contribute to the fund can donate on the Just Giving Page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EHA