Yorkshire-based homelessness charity Simon on the Streets has announced a programme of events for businesses and the public to get involved in and support rough sleepers across the region.

The events include the charity’s annual Big Sleepout, which aims to raise awareness of the increasing issues faced by those rough sleeping, sofa surfing and at risk of homelessness in our region.

Back after a two-year hiatus, the chance to sleep-out on the streets of Leeds is set to return bigger and better than ever on 20th October at Leeds’ Civic Hall.

Now dubbed Simons Great Sleep Out and sponsored by British bedding brand DUSK, the evening will see participants bed down in a secure, enclosed space with food, refreshments, games, and entertainment.

Although sleepers will be spending a night on the streets, the event in no way aims to replicate the difficult conditions experienced by rough sleepers on a daily basis. Instead, it aims to shine a light on the issues associated with homelessness, including social isolation, health inequalities and hidden homelessness, all whilst raising much needed funds to keep the Simon on the Streets team 'out there'.

The charity’s dedicated outreach supporters will be present to share their knowledge and raise awareness of their invaluable work. All attendees will also receive a limited-edition t-shirt and are encouraged to raise sponsorship in excess of £100.

Businesses are also invited to attend Simon’s Starlight Ball on 26th November at the Queens Hotel. Kicking off Christmas parties everywhere, guests will enjoy a three-course meal and welcome drink with a range of entertainment provided on the night.

The charity will launch its corporate events programme with an invite-only networking event for business leaders at Grand Pacific at Queens Hotel, Leeds on 17th August. There will be bi-monthly events planned in key Leeds City centre venues thereafter.

Simon on the Streets’ annual golf day also returns on 9th September at Leeds Golf Centre. Businesses signed up to 'Simon on the Tee' so far include Lloyds Banking, St James Place Wealth Management, and tech Giant EMIS. The day will see golfers, new and experienced, enjoy an 18-hole game of golf with refreshment buggies and a fully stocked halfway house. It also includes an evening awards ceremony, competitions, raffles, silent auctions, a two-course meal, singer, DJ and compare hosting the full day of activities, sponsored by Sett Mortgages.

Natalie Moran, CEO says: “Our fundraising events are back bigger and better than ever and we’re so excited to not only have organised a range of business events, but also to finally bring back our Big Sleep Out for the first time since the Covid pandemic.

“All of our events are pivotal to the charity’s fundraising as we rely solely on donations and partnerships to continue our vital work in supporting the homeless community.”