GMB Members Rough-it For A Good Cause

2 Oct 2012

Members from GMB’s Leeds Civic branch, along with staff and officers from GMB, slept under the stars last night to raise badly needed funds for local homeless charity, ‘Simon On The Streets’. 

Dozens of people agreed to give up their evening and from 9.30pm were taken around the sites of Leeds where the homeless are often found bedding down for the night, before bedding down themselves at 11pm in Millennium Square.

‘Simon on the Streets’ offers street-based support.  They operate across Leeds, Huddersfield and Bradford providing front-line emotional and practical care for those who need it and their role in the community is to provide individual support to the homeless; those at risk of becoming homeless; those with behavioural and mental health issues; and those who are struggling with an addiction.  Their aim is to be there for these people and help them to access the services that they need to make positive changes to their lives.

Commenting, Leeds Civic branch secretary, Neil Cole said: “We were horrified to see the latest figures on homelessness had increased by 40% in the last year. With these figures in mind, and the fact that ‘Simon on the Streets’ does not get any government funding, we would like to raise awareness and as much money as possible for the very important work that this charity does for our community.”

Regional secretary for the GMB trade union, Tim Roache, said: “I’m so proud of my GMB members who wanted to do this in the cold weather so that they would get an appreciation of what it’s like to sleep rough.  They have also raised over £5 thousand and that figure is increasing by the hour.  This shows the true side to trade unions and that we are caring, compassionate people and not just about strikes and conflict.”