Martin Devaney and Barnsley U23s will be taking part in this year’s Sleep Out event to raise money for Centrepoint.
The charity provides housing and support for young people in London, Manchester, Yorkshire and the North East through partnerships all over the UK.
Last year, over 103,000 homeless young people approached their local councils for support, with more than 8,000 of those supported by the Centrepoint Helpline.
In order to generate more awareness of the cause, our U23s players and coaching staff will be ‘sleeping out’ on our East Stand concourse on Thursday 14 November.
“It’s getting an understanding of what real life is all about, for some people,” said Devaney. “The players come into this environment where it’s very structured and most things are given to them in terms of their routine.
“I think it’s vitally important that we’re not only trying to develop footballers, but also develop characters and good people with the values of our academy; hardworking, trustworthy and honest. So it’s about giving back to these people who are out on the streets, who have had a bit of disappointment in life and don’t have any direction.
“They’re probably at the lowest of the low, so it’s about educating the lads to have a skill set to understand what life is all about.”
Centrepoint provides 1,271 bed spaces for homeless people across the UK, with 86% of those moving onto better things.
As well as providing accommodation, the charity helps young people to develop life skills while assisting them as they seek to gain an education and employment.
“Centrepoint do a lot for the community and for the Barnsley people, which is really important,” continued Devaney. “Sometimes we see it ourselves and turn a blind eye to it, so it’s now an opportunity for us to give something back to those who are less fortunate. If it can help one or two individuals, then that’s great.
“The players a really good group – an honest bunch of lads – and this will take them out of their comfort zones. It will be a challenge, but one I think they’ve got to do to take them out of this environment so they can understand what the real world is all about.
“The reality of it is that some of these lads might not make it, so I’m not just trying to develop them as player – I’m trying to develop them as good people, so when they leave here they have good values and can take that into another walk of life.”
If you would like to donate to this fantastic cause, you can do so by clicking the link below.