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Lester Aldridge is once again delighted to be involved in The YMCA Big Sleep Easy 2024. This year’s event was launched as a joint initiative at Barchester Healthcare’s Parley Place Care Home on Thursday 18 March.

The Big Sleep Easy involves local businesses spending a night sleeping rough to raise awareness and funds to support those experiencing homelessness. Instead of sleeping on the streets, participants construct makeshift shelters from cardboard boxes and tarpaulins in a safe environment. This contrasts with the harsh reality faced by thousands of rough sleepers in the UK every night.

How does Lester Aldridge contribute to this cause?

Lester Aldridge joined the initiative in 2018 and has been actively involved every year since. In 2019, we began sponsoring the cardboard boxes for the event, and over the past six years, we have raised over £24k for the charity. More than 40 individuals from Lester Aldridge have participated. We have also supported the charity’s school programme and provided support to Sheena Drayton and her team.

Why does LA participate?

As part of our ESG commitments, we believe it is important that Lester Aldridge gives back to our communities. Participation in such events fosters connections with the communities in which we operate, and YMCA’s transformative work aligns with our values.

Mark Benham, Partner and Head of the Real Estate Group at Lester Aldridge, says “Having participated for several years now, including during lockdown where we improvised shelters in our gardens, I’ve come to appreciate the challenges and rewards of the experience. Despite the discomfort of cold nights and minimal sleep, the camaraderie among participants from various businesses creates a warm and friendly atmosphere.”

“The timing of the launch is apposite; BCP Council has recently launched its draft local plan, which sets out the council’s strategy for new development. This has already drawn criticism, and solicitors from our Real Estate team supported Shelter earlier this month. The number 2151 was created using sandcastles to represent the number of households in BCP on the social housing waiting list.”

Get involved

We encourage as many local businesses to get involved as possible, either by sleeping out or sponsoring participants. It is a testament to bravery and solidarity, and LA eagerly anticipates connecting with fellow businesses in the BCP and DCCI communities. Book your place now via on the YMCA Bournemouth website.