The Chief Executive of the charity Borderline and business leaders from across industries in London in the 2017 CEO Sleepout at Lord’s Cricket Ground on October 30. She will be raising funds for the charity which is dedicated to helping homeless Scots in London.
Homelessness in London continues to rise and official statistics show that 8,096 people were seen rough sleeping in London last year – an increase of over 50% in five years.
Among the participants joining her to raise funds for Borderline will be Reverend Philip Majcher, Minister of Crown Court Church and Chairman of Borderline.
All of the participants in CEO Sleepout are leading by example by braving the cold and sleeping outdoors side-by-side with their peers to raise awareness and funds for homeless people in London.
Borderline Chief Executive Shona Fleming said: “I am fortunate that I had a choice when deciding whether or not to sleep out; our clients do not have that luxury. Many Scots come to London because of a breakdown in their relationship, family disputes, escaping violence and abuse.
“Far too often the difficulties our clients face in London are much greater than those they leave behind. Having nowhere to live, encountering repeated failure when trying to find work, and being stigmatised by the general population can swiftly force people into de-valuing themselves.”
Homeless people do not just lack somewhere to stay, but they are in want of support services that most people take for granted.
Thus, as well as help with accommodation, Borderline provides information and advice; advocacy; duplicate birth certificates; access to mental health support; training and education to improve employability; life skills such as cooking and budgeting, aimed at helping individuals regain their independence.
Borderline also offers clothing and small household starter grants for new tenants who have previously been homeless and may not have the basic necessities to set up home. This grant can include small household items such as kettles, microwaves, toasters, bedding, duvet and pillows, and small television sets.
Although Borderline services focus on Scots, these services contribute to the overall London strategy of tackling and reducing homelessness.
Ms Fleming continued: “Most of us have a home and a comfortable bed to return to at the end of each day. With your support, we can help fellow Scots who aren’t as fortunate. With Londoners’ help we can help those who aren’t as fortunate and reach out to more of those vulnerable people. This is a great opportunity to understand what homeless men and women experience every night on the streets of London.”