The Big Villa Sleep Out is less than two weeks away, with over 130 people signed up to spend a night at Villa Park on 11 October in order to raise funds to support the city’s homeless community.
And ahead of the event, the Foundation are delighted to announce how the money raised from the event will be spent.
A portion of the proceeds will help to launch a new food project that will provide meals for homeless people all year round.
The Foundation will work in partnership with club catering partner Levy to cook batch meals at Villa Park throughout the year, with local homeless charities distributing them across the city.
Head of Foundation Guy Rippon believes the new project is a major step in the club’s commitment to supporting the homeless agenda in the city.
He said: “The club and Foundation have been looking for a way to provide continuous support to the city’s homeless community that goes above and beyond our prior outreach work, and we wanted to try and do something different.
“We have worked with a number of local organisations that are hugely committed to the issue of homelessness in Birmingham.
“Through our previous work with local homeless charities, we have seen and heard about how time consuming it is for volunteers to cook meals in their own time and in many cases they simply don’t have the facilities to cook enough meals to meet the demand.
“Working with Levy, we can mass produce these meals at a minimal cost by simply utilising the excellent catering facilities at Villa Park. This will allow us to support a social need in the city and support those people and charities that selflessly give up their time for others.
“We are delighted that Aston Villa fans will be playing their part in making it a reality by raising funds via the Sleep Out.”
Last year’s inaugural Big Villa Sleep Out raised over £12,000, with £6,000 presented as a cheque to Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street by Aston Villa CEO Christian Purslow.
That money went into the Mayor’s Change into Action initiative, which supports people transitioning from homelessness into accommodation and employment.
The remaining funds were spent on essential items such as blankets, underwear and dental hygiene, which were distributed in Birmingham city centre earlier this year.
It was this city-centre distribution which was the catalyst for the new project.
In addition to the new food project, Change Into Action and the Foundation’s mental health projects will benefit from funds raised by the Big Villa Sleep Out.
Levy will also be providing teas, coffees and breakfast for the participants of this year’s event.
There are still a limited number of places remaining on this year’s event, and you can secure a place by firstname.lastname@example.org.