A team from Gaskells has completed its third successive annual charity Sleepout for Liverpool homelessness charity The Whitechapel Centre. Jamie from our Sales Team and Claire from our PR department joined almost 200 people swapping their beds for sleeping bags and cardboard boxes to sleep under the stars at St James in the City’s churchyard for what is the charity’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The Whitechapel Centre is the leading homeless and housing charity for the Liverpool Region. They work with people who are sleeping rough, living in hostels or struggling to manage their accommodation by helping them find and maintain a home and learn the life skills essential for independent living. We’ve been working with the charity for some time now, by supporting them financially and helping to raise awareness of the work they do. Part of this involves us taking part in the annual Liverpool Sleepout, which has been held every October for the past five years.

This year for the Sixth Sleepout, we’re proud to say sponsored the event, as it does cost a lot to put on, down to security and catering and all the health and safety checks having to be carried out. Our support this years has  meant ALL of the money raised on the night will now go towards helping people who really need it, rather than some of it being swallowed up by overheads. And, what a night it was! 200 people braving the cold, armed only with cardboard, plastic sheeting, sticky tape, and sleeping bags. Companies taking part included Gap Personnel, Morgan Sindall Construction and Co-Op Funeral Care… we have to say the Co-Op’s shelter was spectacular, complete with pillars, and glowsticks. Top marks for effort!


Jamie and Claire turned up with their sleeping bags, cardboard and a tarpaulin and attempted to build their shelter to make it as waterproof and windproof as possible. This year, they opted to build it just inside the exterior wall, as there was a dip, to protect them from the wind, but they didn’t take into account the noise levels with it being right next to the main road. We have to say this year’s wasn’t as impressive as last year’s cardboard Gaskells bin truck.. it was more of just two piles of boxes with a tarpaulin draped over them, but with the added lights inside, looked very cosy. After a quick chat with their new neighbours from Morgan Sindall construction, Jamie and Claire had a mooch round the whole churchyard, chatting to everyone taking part, watching the band, the fabulous Dukes of Hazzard and also met up with Terry Crolley, chairman of The Whitechapel Centre.

Lights out at midnight.. and a night trying to sleep. It was very cold, feet like blocks of ice, but everyone made it and at least this year we escaped Storm Callum. At dawn the clear up was well underway, and breakfast being served thanks to the Rapid Relief Team organisation, which provides warm meals to a variety of UK charities as a modest gesture of support. The bacon barmcakes that morning were the BEST we’ve tasted for a while!

So far this year the Sleepout has raised £20,000 but with donations still coming in, the true total won’t be revealed for a couple of weeks. Jamie and Claire collectively raised more than £290, again with donations still coming in, so we’re pretty proud of our team! We also provided a Ro-Ro container to help with the clear up in the morning, to ensure all the cardboard and plastic used during the event is disposed of responsibly, and again, to keep the costs down for the charity. We’re incredibly proud to work with The Whitechapel Centre as the work they do for homeless people in and around Liverpool is incredible. Well done Jamie and Claire and everyone else who took part in the Liverpool Sleepout.. roll on next year!

The Whitechapel Centre was started in 1975 to meet the needs of homeless people in Liverpool. who are among the most vulnerable, isolated and lonely people in our community. In 2018-19 they worked with 4,323 people on various projects which reflect the diverse routes into and through homelessness. They now employ over 120 staff along with having the support of over 60 volunteers, and have a real reputation for their ability to get things done. Gaskells Waste Services is proud to be working with The Whitechapel Centre, and will be carrying out a number of other activities throughout October to continue raising money.