SEVEN members of staff from a Cotswolds business slept rough outside their offices for a night to raise money for a homeless charity.

The office workers from Kemble-based building regulation and energy assessment firm Energist spent the night outside their head office with nothing but cardboard and plastic sheets – along with sleeping bags and as many layers of clothes as they can wear – to raise funds for Cheltenham-based County Community Projects.

The charity provides accommodation for homeless people between 16 and 25, along with a number of other services for young people at risk of homelessness or social exclusion.

The team raised more than £2,300 from the ‘sleep out’ overnight from Friday April 20 to Saturday April 21.

Energist customer support team leader Laura Pitcher, who organised the event, said she was delighted with how well it had gone.

“It went really well – we all survived anyway,” she said.

“It didn’t rain too much – we had a little bit in the morning but apart from that it was fine.

“In a county such as Gloucestershire it is all too easy to be ignorant of the extent of homelessness. By holding this sponsored rough sleep we want to raise awareness of the issue and raise some money for an excellent cause.

“We are planning to do lots of other events, bit the next one will be somewhere warm!”

County Community Projects chief executive Cordell Ray said he was delighted by the efforts of those who took part in the event.

“I think it is a great idea and highly appropriate given the work we do in putting a roof over the heads of homeless young people in Gloucestershire,” he added.