John Lewis staff sleep out in Stratford to raise money for homeless

More than 30 people from John Lewis and housing provider East Thames joined forces to raise �3,200 by taking part in a sponsored sleep-out.

The dedicated volunteers slept rough for the night on the terrace of East Thames’s head office in Stratford to raise money for East Potential, the charitable arm of East Thames, which is working closely with John Lewis Stratford City after being selected as their Charity of the Year for in 2012.

Homelessness is an increasing issue in the UK. Both East Thames and John Lewis are concerned about recent reports indicating that there has been a 36 per cent rise in homelessness in London between October and December last year (Shelter statistics).

By taking part in the sleep staff from the two organisations gained a better understanding of the issues homeless people have to deal with on a daily basis.

Corrine Hutcheson, East Thames enterprise manager, said: “Taking part in the sleep out was a real eye opener for us all. It really helped us to understand and relate to the issue of homelessness which sadly is huge problem in our society. I’d like to thank everyone for taking part and for those who showed us support. We look forward to making some positive much needed changes with the money raised in the near future.”

John Lewis community liaison coordinator, Terry Saunders said: “The team and I really found this an eye opening experience. It was a very small insight into what it must feel like to have to sleep on a cold, hard, pavement every night. It really brought home the fact that we were able to go about our normal lives in the morning whereas homeless people face this challenge day after day.”

East Potential helps people lead better lives. By preventing homelessness, helping people find jobs, steering young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour and fostering strong communities.