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Students at Heanor Gate Spencer Academy receive Framework Award for Fundraiser

The non-profit recognised the fundraising contributions of 40 students who organised the “Big Sleep Out” event to raise funds for and awareness of the difficulties faced by homeless people.

Staff and students from Heanor Gate Spencer Academy were celebrated at the Framework Awards for their contributions to the non-profit through their “Big Sleep Out” fundraising event.

The Big Sleep Out began as part of the Student School Leadership programme, through which students organise fundraising events. They chose to focus on Framework, a non-profit that provides housing support, health and social care and employment support; Lisa Hulland, the Year 8 Achievement Leader, explained, “Framework as a charity stood out to us as they aligned with our values of putting people first and ensuring people are valued for who they are and what they can be.”

Student leaders were supported by Miss Hulland, Amanda McLeod, Peter Sandham, Megan Britton, Rebecca Dean and Brett Goacher. They decided to host an event that not only raised money, but also offered a lived experience. During the Big Sleep Out, which took place on 14 October, 40 students spent the night at Heanor Gate Spencer Academy, setting up camp, making hot chocolate and even participating in a “soup kitchen” arranged by the academy’s catering staff. The evening combined happy camaraderie with stark realisations about the reality faced by homeless people every night.

“Although students found this an enjoyable fundraiser, for many of them it provided the stark reality of what being disadvantaged and homeless can actually be like,” Miss Hulland explained.

In total, students raised over £650 for Framework through the Big Sleep Out. They continue to work with Framework and their community to provide support, inspired and motivated by this experience.

“Taking part in this has been really nice to help those people who are not as lucky as us,” one student said. “We’ve had to sleep uncomfortably for one night and this is what they do every night. We got to do this with our friends in school, and they may face being somewhere more dangerous especially if they are alone. It makes you realise how lucky we really are and the things we take for granted.”