A GROUP of financial advisers have been applauded following a mammoth month of fundraising.
Staff at Harrison Beale & Owen Financial Services initially set themselves the task of raising £1,000 for the Heart of England Community Foundation (HOECF) by completing two separate challenges.
However all expectations were exceeded as more than £2,500 was raised for the charity which gives grants to support community projects across Coventry, Warwickshire, Solihull, Birmingham and the Black Country.
Both challenges tested participants physical and mental ability as they firstly slept rough for the night as part of the Helping Hands Sleep Out event, before they tackled a 10k run at Coventry’s War Memorial Park.
The money raised for HOECF will be used to fund a new soup kitchen and drop in centre for homeless people across the region.
Lucy Talbot, financial planning analyst at Harrison Beale & Owen, said the Sleep Out challenge was an eye-opener for the whole group.
She added: “Were all thrilled to have smashed our fundraising target for what is a truly great charity that ensures money goes to the causes that need them the most.
“The sleep out experience was very humbling and has made me appreciate how difficult it must be for those who have no choice but to spend the night on the street.
“You cant replicate what the homeless go through but even one night in the winter elements was difficult.”
Joining Lucy in the Sleep Out was Julie Talbot, Jason Strain and Robert Dimbleby.
Meanwhile a bigger group took part in the 10k run which included Jason Strain, Julie Talbot, Amarjit Madar, Zoe Schofield, Thomas Dawe, Tom Driver, Ant Baynham, Jo Barrett, Steph Beswick, Rob Dimbleby and Ian Chetwynd.
Robert Dimbleby crossed the line first in 50 minutes and 13 seconds, followed by smaller groups around the one hour five minutes mark.
Lucy said: “The work that Helping Hands do is vital to help our community battle this problem and help people back on their feet and to a warm, safe place.
“We are hoping to continue to raise further funds over the following weeks to help towards the valuable work Helping Hands provide to our local community.
Tina Costello, chief executive at the Heart of England Community Foundation, said: “This is a phenomenal fundraising effort, and will go a long way towards helping the homeless community which is a real issue in Leamington and other areas.
“Well done to everybody involved.”