The Big Villa Sleep Out took place at Villa Park on Friday night, helping the Aston Villa Foundation to raise over £30,000 to support the city’s homeless community.
135 fundraisers spent the night in the Trinity Stand concourse alongside club legends Shaun Teale and Ian Taylor.
The total amount raised is still going up but it has already dwarfed the figure of £12,000 raised by last year’s event.
Event organiser Paisley Hipkiss was overwhelmed by the turnout and fundraising efforts of everyone involved.
She said: “We had 35 participants at last year’s event, so we’ve seen a massive increase this year.
“There’s been a huge desire from the Aston Villa fanbase and local people to get behind this cause and help us make a difference to the lives of homeless people.
“The money raised is going to positively impact a lot of people, so everyone who donated or attended should feel very proud.”
Participants were treated to a stadium tour, a Q&A with Teale and Taylor and a quiz, while breakfast and hot drinks were donated by club catering partner Levy UK.
Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, was also in attendance to thank participants and explain how his ‘Change Into Action’ initiative has been making a difference to homeless people.
The Foundation made a £6,000 donation to Change Into Action with a portion of last year’s proceeds, and the initiative will again be a beneficiary when the proceeds of this year’s Big Villa Sleep Out are invested.
A new food project cooking meals for the homeless all year round at Villa Park, in partnership with Levy UK, will also be created with the proceeds.
Batch meals will be cooked throughout the year, with local homeless charities distributing them across the city.
Due to the large amount raised, the Foundation are exploring further opportunities to best utilise the money.
Anyone wishing to donate to the Foundation can so here.