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Big PNE sleep out new home

Biffa North West Community Projects: A Year On

Posted in Industry news
On 26 Nov 2020
By Jessica Keynes

Last year, there were two major volunteering events that Biffa North West took part in. Here’s how those projects are doing a year on

Every year, our people volunteer their time and services to a range of projects across the UK. Last year, there were two major volunteering events that Biffa North West took part in – The Big PNE Sleep Out and DIY SOS: The Big Build BBC Children in Need Special.

Here’s how those projects are doing a year on…

The Big PNE Sleep Out

The Big PNE Sleep Out was a fundraising event organised by The Foxton Centre, PNE Community and Education Trust, Blog Preston and Biffa, which took place on Saturday 16th November last year. The event aimed to raise £50,000 to buy and renovate a house for the use of rough sleepers in Preston under its Housing First initiative.

Twelve months on and a deal on the house for the city’s rough sleepers is complete!

Big PNE sleep out new home

Over 300 people hunkered down in sleeping bags for a bitterly-cold night’s sleep at Deepdale Stadium on nothing but the cardboard Biffa provided for the event. Participants, including six of our people, not only got an insight into the conditions which homeless people experience every day, but they helped raise a total of £91,000! Almost double the original target of £50,000.

Thanks to the support of those involved and other donations to the project, this month The Foxton Centre received the keys to a property in Ashton-on-Ribble, and now renovations on the house can start, which includes converting the building into two flats.

PNE sleep out biffa team

The project aims to “provide endless benefits for those who access the Foxton Centre” and further support those suffering from homelessness, alcoholism or mental health issues.

We will continue to support the renovation of the property by providing skips and waste management services throughout the build.

DIY SOS: BBC Children In Need

One year ago, a special episode of DIY SOS for Children in Need aired on television, showing volunteers taking part in the makeover of St Silas’ Church Parish Hall in Blackburn. The project was to create supported housing for Nightsafe, who help young people who are homeless or vulnerably housed.

DIY SOS Children in Need

The project, Safe @ Silas, was completed over two weeks in September 2019, and now six Blackburn and Darwen 16 to 24-year-olds who have found themselves homeless, are housed in the accommodation, along with other projects accommodating a further 14 young adults.

Jan Larkin, CEO of Nightsafe, recalled the moment she saw the renovated building and the “sea of volunteers” as “absolutely amazing.” Making up just a small proportion of the volunteers was Biffa’s North West team. They provided all the waste management, removing and recycling over 100 tonnes of waste as well as supplying the PPE for the other volunteers.

The charity commemorated the anniversary of the housing renovation with a socially distanced celebration in September.

Safe Silas

Find out more about Biffa and the community projects we’ve been working with.