Over £10,000 raised after Aberdeen Asset Management staff sleep rough

Sleepout2016More than 30 staff from Aberdeen Asset Management who swapped their home comforts for a night exposed to the elements have helped young apprenticeship colleagues smash a £10,000 fundraising target.

Just four weeks into their six week money raising mission and the five-strong team of apprentices have already gathered a total of £10,350 for Aberdeen Cyrenians.

The bulk of the cash came from sponsorship when the apprentices persuaded colleagues to join them sleeping rough in Aberdeen.

Dressed in cosy clothes, including hats, gloves and scarves and armed with sturdy sleeping bags, 33 Aberdeen Asset Management employees took part in Aberdeen Cyrenians Sleepout in the car park of Asda at Garthdee, last month. They were given cardboard boxes to use as mats and spent 12 hours outdoors on a chilly Aberdeen night.

Collectively, Aberdeen Asset Management’s rough sleepers raised £7,348 but it also brought a sense of reality to what their efforts were for and the reality and discomfort faced by a homeless person on a daily basis.

Rachel-SleepoutApprentice Hannah Booth, part of Aberdeen’s fundraising team said: “We were really pleased that colleagues from different departments joined us in the Sleepout, and also that so many sponsored us to take part, and it was harder than we expected.

“It felt really cold and there was the added distraction of boy racers driving around the car park and some other Sleepout participants’ snoring.

“We did manage to get some sleep as we were all well wrapped up in cosy clothes, good sleeping bags and in some cases even camping mats but what really hit home was that in the morning we could pack up and go, return to our homes and hot showers, warm meals and comfy beds knowing that our involvement in sleeping outdoors was for a good cause.

“The reality for homeless people is  that they don’t have that choice, and face the uncertainty and discomfort on a daily basis, and not knowing where to go and how to survive another day.”

The apprentices’ charity pot has been added to from the proceeds of them selling bacon rolls to colleagues on a Friday morning, a Great British Bake Off cake sale, and from the team taking it in turns to pedal a total distance of 125 miles on exercise bikes in their office reception – the distance between their Union Plaza base and the firm’s Edinburgh Princes Street office. More fundraisers are in the pipeline.

Scott Baxter, depute chief executive for Aberdeen Cyrenians, praised the five apprentices – Hannah Booth, Rachel Adam, Raegan McBain, Harry Rothnie and Sam McGrath – for admirably rising to their challenge and encouraging others to get involved too.

“We are all absolutely delighted and impressed with the Aberdeen Asset Management apprentices’ efforts and enthusiasm in reaching their target of £10,000 in such a short space of time. The funds raised will go directly to our Drop In service which is responding to an increase in demand as more and more people find themselves in difficult circumstances.”

Aberdeen Asset Management has an established apprenticeship programme school leavers which has been running since 2012. The programme runs for 12-24 months and is designed to help apprentices learn about the organisation, meet the people involved and help them decide which area of the business to begin their career in. Apprentices are challenged to work together for community projects, in this case Aberdeen Cyrenains which has its headquarters close to Aberdeen’s Union Plaza office and which has supported homeless people in the city for over 45 years.

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