Added: Monday 1 December 2014
Ipswich Building Society and Emmaus Ipswich work together to launch #sofaselfie campaign
Ipswich Building Society and Emmaus Ipswich are working together to launch the #sofaselfie campaign; asking people to sleep on their sofa, post a selfie to social media and donate £5 to help the issue of hidden homelessness and sofa surfing.
Suffolk is a beautiful and prosperous county, offering a wonderful quality of life, however it is not immune from the issue of homelessness with approximately 400 vulnerable and homeless people in the county. This figure excludes the 'hidden homeless', people staying with friends (sofa surfing), in squats or sleeping rough. It is estimated there are 400,000 people experiencing hidden homelessness throughout the UK.
Paul Winter, Chief Executive, Ipswich Building Society, said: "As a responsible business, operating within the housing market, we believe everyone has the right to have a roof over their head and somewhere to call home – whether through a mortgage, tenancy, short term or emergency placement. That is why we're partnering with Emmaus Ipswich, to help increase access to support for homeless people."
The Society has committed to support Emmaus Ipswich for an initial three year period, in order to raise awareness of the organisation in Suffolk and its goals, including improving the access and quality of temporary accommodation and support.
Proceeds from the #sofaselfie campaign will be used to help Emmaus set up their social enterprise workshop and shop, due to open by April 2015. Their overarching aim is for the Emmaus Ipswich to become self-sustaining, providing work opportunities and accommodation for homeless men and women.
How does the #sofaselfiechallenge work?
Spend a night on your sofa, share your photo on social media then text SOSE14 £5 to 70070 to donate £5 to Emmaus Ipswich. Remember to nominate 3 people to join in.
Participants should include this message with their photo: "I've taken a #sofaselfie for Emmaus Ipswich. I nominate ... Text SOSE14 £5 to 70070 to donate". Remember to link via Twitter: @EmmausIpswich or FacebookEmmaus-Ipswich.
This initiative comes as part of the Society's goal to be a leading responsible business. The Society was recently shortlisted for BITCs "Responsible Small Business of the Year", with a key focus area for the past year including increasing levels of financial literacy for primary school children through the Money Days school programme and free app "My Puppy: Maths and Money."