Birmingham organisation SIFA Fireside is celebrating after surpassing its fundraising milestone of £50,000 following its flagship event, the Big Brummie Camp Out. SIFA Fireside, which supports vulnerable adults in the city launched its latest campaign, #SIFASurvives, in a bid to help secure its future after being forced to close its doors due to the Government guidelines that were put in place following COVID-19.
Held on the Early May Bank Holiday (May 8), the Big Brummie Camp Out brought groups of friends and families across the city together, who enjoyed a ‘camp out’ in the homes, whilst helping to raise vital funds for SIFA Fireside. Backed by the likes of Joe Lycett, Jess Philips MP and SIFA patron, Alex Claridge (The Wilderness), the event broke through SIFA’s £50,000 target, raising a total of £54,188.
A total of 519 groups of families and friends signed up to campout, which alone saw an incredible £9,562 raised for SIFA Fireside. ‘Campers’ that took part were asked to give a minimum £5 donation towards SIFA, which gave them access to an exclusive activity pack that was filled with recipes from Michelin-starred chef Atkar Islam and Alex Claridge, plus a bread-making recipe from Sarehole Mill. A host of other activities also filled the evening including a quiz, yoga sessions and guide to moon phases from Thinktank Birmingham and Science Museum completed the evening.
Alongside the donations from ‘campers’ SIFA Fireside also received £33K from the Heart of England Community Foundation’s Coronavirus Resilience Fund, £5K from Severn Trent, £3K from PwC UK, £100 from local schools and a £3K from local non-campers. A further £562 was raised on the night of the event through Facebook.
Welcoming between 140 – 160 vulnerable adults to its drop-in centre each day, the Digbeth-based charity works to provide long-term solutions to homeless. This starts with meeting basic needs ranging from health care to hot meals, drinks, clothing, showers and laundry, with the aim of getting people off the streets and back onto their feet, giving them a new chance to work towards a brighter future.
Commenting on the amount of money raised, chief executive of SIFA Fireside, Carly Jones, said:
“After being forced to close our doors we saw a huge drop in donations, and this also led to us not being able to provide the support to our clients that is so greatly needed. We are so grateful for the amount of support that received towards our campaign, not only from those who took part in the Big Brummie Camp Out, but businesses that are also adapting to the ever-changing circumstances that we find ourselves in.
“The Camp Out was such as success; not only did it give friends and families the chance to virtually come together and celebrate the work that SIFA Fireside does, and hopefully it won’t be the last time we host it.”
To find out how you can support #SIFASurvives and donate to the appeal, visit bit.ly/BigBrummieCampOut.