A night under the stars in Paradise for Celtic FC Foundation

CELTIC FC Foundation’s 2016 Celtic Sleep Out event took place at Celtic Park at the weekend and the 100 participants have already raised a magnificent total in the region of £65,000.

All funds raised will support our 2016 Christmas Appeal and is one of a series of fundraising initiatives for this year’s Appeal.

We want to help around 250 local families facing poverty, to provide a meal on the table and gifts for the kids. We want to bring the magic of Christmas to those homes. We are also looking to help vulnerable local pensioners to ease the financial burden at a challenging time of year plus a number of other local charities who support those experiencing homelessness or other disadvantage.

The hardy group arrived through the front door at Celtic Park around 9pm and were directed into the Boardroom for a welcome and briefing session. This was followed by a few words on the reality of sleeping rough from Dermot Hill of The Invisibles – a beneficiary of this year’s Appeal – who was taking part in the event for the second year in a row.

Then it was team photo time before the group took their places for the long and cold night ahead, all in high spirits but perhaps a little apprehensive of what the next eight hours would bring.

At around 10.30pm, the volunteers received a very special visit from Celtic FC Ambassador, Tom Boyd. The former Hoops captain provides outstanding support to the Foundation on a regular basis and wanted to personally thank and congratulate each and every participant.

This raised the spirits of the entire group and helped ease the prospect of the night ahead, with a sharp bite in the air. Camaraderie, compassion, pride and determination endured throughout the event, despite the conditions.

Special thanks must go to the Celtic TV team who gave up their time to cover the event for the duration and also to Ambulance Scotland for providing the comfort of paramedic support – at no cost to the charity – throughout the night.

At 6.00am, the Celtic Sleep Out drew to a close with a warm breakfast in the Jock Stein Lounge.

There was an opportunity for participants, at that stage, to donate their sleeping bags and floor mats to The Invisibles and the response was both humbling and overwhelming. These items will have a substantial impact on those sleeping rough on the streets of our city.

Celtic FC Foundation would like to thank each and every Celtic Sleep Out participant for their phenomenal efforts and all of those who supported them along the way. You have made a genuine difference to the lives of the most vulnerable in our community.

Thank you for helping us raise more than the roof this Christmas to support those on our doorstep who need it most.

If you like to support the efforts of the Celtic Sleep Out team, there’s still time to donate online HERE