Cleckheaton businessman slept rough for charity

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A businessman slept rough on the streets of Leeds to raise the profile of Yorkshire charity Simon On The Streets.

Andy Howarth, 61, chairman of Cleckheaton-based Howarths People and Safety Management, bedded down in a cardboard box at the Royal Armouries with around 40 others last month.

Through 84 donations, Andy raised £2,406 and has introduced about a dozen of his business contacts to the charity’s manager Helen Beachell.

Andy said: “It was an experience, and one that I won’t forget. Sleep was impossible. I’d just got tucked in to my box when the wind blew it about a mile away.

“It was fun to begin with and it was quite exciting. But around midnight, you were beginning to wonder what you were going to do.

“Until you actually do it, its just unimaginable that these kids have to do that every night. They get through it because of the predicament they are in.”

Andy said he found the situation of people having to sleep on the streets “quite distressing.”

He said: “There’s very little hope for them apart from charities like Simon on the Streets.”

He added that he felt a sense of euphoria at getting home once the challenge finished at 7am, but knew that for those really sleeping rough, that is not an option.

Simon on the Streets supports homeless people with complex needs.