Hundreds of people who slept out in the cold overnight to boost an appeal to tackle homelessness in Preston have helped to smash the Big PNE Sleep Out’s £50,000 target.
After more than 2,500 donations and a huge turnout from people all spending Friday night outdoors at Preston’s Deepdale stadium, the appeal is now soaring past the original target mark.
All monies raised will be used by the Foxton Centre to buy and renovate a house in Preston for rough sleepers in the city.
The sleep out was held to mark the Foxton Centre’s 50th anniversary, and was supported by PNE, BIFFA and Blog Preston.
Around 300 people turned out on Friday night armed with multiple layers of clothing and sleeping bags to experience what it is like to have no home or warm bed at night.
Those taking part included business people, campaigners and members of Preston City Council’s cabinet.
They spent a very chilly night on a concourse at Deepdale, lying on top of carboard “matresses”.
Among those supporting the appeal was injured PNE striker Louis Moult.
Louis has been out of action since August with a knee injury and doctor’s orders prevented him from sleeping out.
But he turnd out to give the event his whole-hearted support.
He said: “I’ve seen the brilliant work the Foxton Centre is doing and want to do everything I can to raise awareness.
“The response to the appeal has been fantastic.”
Preston North End tweeted today: “An incredible £50,000 has been raised for The Foxton Centre
“A huge thank you to all those who took part in last night’s PNEsleepout and to every single person who has donated!”.
An organisers' spokesman said: "We would like to thank each and every person who took part, donated or sent us messages of goodwill.
"The Big PNE Sleep Out has been months in the making and it's been humbling to see the city get behind such a great cause culminating in more than 300 people sleeping out at Deepdale last night.
"It was a fantastic effort by all those who bedded down and took part in what was a great event for the club and the city."
Donations are still being taken at the appeal's page at https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/ThePNEBIGSleepOut