On Friday 2 March, I woke up in Spitalfields Market. And yes, I do remember how I got there.
Last week, five people from Redwood Consulting joined 182 other property professionals from 63 companies for LandAid’s first ever SleepOut for LandAid House, which was sponsored by Hammerson and Knight Frank.
The event has raised over £150,000, with every penny going to City YMCA London to rebuild their former Errol Street hostel in Islington.
Of course, matters were not helped by the Beast from the East and Storm Emma converging over the UK to create some of the most severe weather conditions the country has seen in years.
But this, I feel, misses the point.
SleepOut was not meant to be an authentic experience. Indeed, it made me incredibly aware of the great fortune I had to be able to do it with friends, go home, shower and go to work.
Yes, Thursday night was unpleasant. It was cold, damp and windy. However, we were also in a mostly covered marketplace, safe in the knowledge that we had the support of the LandAid team and an on-site paramedic.
These are luxuries that were not available to the majority of homeless people sleeping rough on Thursday night.
Amongst the doom and gloom, however, were the heartening stories that were kindly shared with us by those that have been helped by City YMCA London. If nothing else, they reinforced what can happen when people step up and do something.
We’re really pleased that, so far, we’ve raised over £1000 for the LandAid House appeal. Our donation page can be seen here, and we would be very grateful for any donations.