Sleep out to end homelessness | Deloitte UK has been saved
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On 14 November 2019, ten people from Deloitte’s Bristol office braved a cold, drizzly evening and took part in a sleep out organised by local charity 1625 Independent People. Andy Wright was one of them – here’s what he had to say.
Each year 1625IP organises a sleep out in Bristol city centre. To support the initiative, our people volunteer to sleep outside for a night to raise funds for this great local charity and the life-transforming work they do. The money raised from this event goes towards supporting young, vulnerable adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The sleep out does not aim to replicate homelessness, but it does give you an insight into the challenges faced by rough sleepers.
I have taken part in 1625IP’s sleep outs two times previously. I decided to go for the hat trick and take part for a third time, joining the 200 or so other people sleeping out at this one in the Bristol harbourside.
Initially, from understanding exactly what it is the charity does to help people. I was drawn to the fact that 1625IP’s primary focus is supporting young people by helping to prevent them from becoming homeless and providing training, skills and support. This makes a real difference and goes far beyond short-term financial assistance.
I analogise what they do to the concept of bringing water to people suffering in a drought. It relieves the immediate need, whereas building a well prevents the problem long term. In my experience, from what I’ve learned from speaking with those involved with and helped by 1625IP, the charity’s work is all about preparing people for a better future in the long term.
This year was the coldest year of the three and it also rained during the night. Luckily, I have a strong resistance to cold weather and have plenty of natural padding to help me cope.
What also keeps you going is the constant thought that I only have to do this for one night and some people have no choice and have to do this every night. Certainly for the Deloitte team taking part, it gave us all the smallest taste of what it is like for someone who has to sleep out in the cold and, in many cases, get up and go to work the next day.
I also enjoyed the talks and presentations given by representatives of the charity - the stories they tell and some of the talents they show always inspire me to help wherever I can.
One thing I was not expecting, however, is just how uncomfortable the ground can be. I should know this after having done this twice before but it always comes as a surprise. This year I was also surprised that a member of the public was unhappy that he could not use the sleep out location to skateboard at 3am in the morning. Who skateboards at 3am in the morning?
Our South West practice’s chosen charity is 1625IP. It’s part of Deloitte’s One Million Futures strategy which aims to help one million people get to where they want to be, whether it’s in the classroom, the workplace or the boardroom.
1625IP’s work is really important. They support young people in Bristol aged 16 - 25 who are at risk of becoming homeless or are already homeless. They provide a broad range of care and support services to help young people live happily and independently. A great cause.
Andy leads Deloitte's South West audit practice including the local Private Market team with significant experience of working with fast growing private companies from start-up to large multi-national groups. He has a wide range of experience advising businesses as they seek to expand internationally working closely with Deloitte offices in USA, India and across Europe. Andy also leads the Quality and Audit Transformation team within the UK Private Markets business. He has significant experience of working with manufacturing and retail companies, including those in the packaging, steel, automotive, Brewery and wider food and beverage sectors. In addition Andy has experience advising professional partnerships in areas which include regulatory compliance, working capital management, transaction support and LLP conversion as well as experience of non-audit services including advice on corporate governance, transaction support and working capital reviews.