The Aston Villa Foundation has donated £6,000 to Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street to help provide specialist support for the homeless.
The money was raised at May's inaugural Big Villa Sleep Out, where a host of fundraisers spent the night in the Trinity Stand concourse at Villa Park.
Aston Villa CEO Christian Purslow presented a cheque to the Mayor during a visit to Villa Park. The funds will go to 'Change Into Action' - a joint initiative between Birmingham City Council and the Mayor’s Homelessness Task Force.
Aston Villa CEO Christian Purslow (right) hands a cheque for £6,000 to Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street. The money will go to the Change into Action initiative which helps the homeless.
Change into Action offers people an alternative way to give, shifting support directly into specialist charities and street teams already working to help rough sleepers.
The money donated by The Aston Villa Foundation will pay for a wide range of items from kitchen appliances or bedding for a new flat, to new clothes and travel cards to support people getting to appointments and job interviews.
The Mayor said: “Rough sleeping on our streets is simply not acceptable and it shames us as a region and society.
“Our Change into Action initiative is a new way for people to give, and I know Villa’s donation will make a real difference to rough sleepers’ lives.
“So I’d like to say a massive thank you to the Aston Villa Foundation on behalf of Change into Action and, of course, to all those that took part in the Big Villa Sleep Out earlier this year.”
Purslow, who has prioritised the need to help homelessness in Birmingham since joining as CEO in August, said: “We are delighted to support this excellent initiative with the West Midlands Combined Authority. Aston Villa is committed to acting as a force for good in addressing major social issues affecting our community.”
A further £6,000 raised by the Big Villa Sleep Out will will be used by the Aston Villa Foundation provide items such as blankets, underwear and toiletries for homeless people across Birmingham.
Members of the Foundation will be handing the items out to those in need prior to Christmas, alongside some of the May Sleep Out participants – which included with former Villa player Shaun Teale.
This year's Sleep Out event followed on from the donation of 700 packed lunches to homeless charities across the city following the postponement of the QPR game in March.
Details of next year's Big Villa Sleep Out are set to be confirmed very soon.
Those interested in taking part or supporting the Foundation’s homelessness initiatives can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org