Steve Gotting joined us for our Sleep Out last year and gained the highest sponsorship of any participant, raising over £1,000 singlehandedly. With Sleep Out 2019 just a couple of weeks away (21st June), we look at how Steve came to support Step by Step and why it's so important to get involved in our flagship annual event.
Steve was a successful businessman for over 30 years, but when his company was wound up, he found himself with time on his hands looking for a new challenge. He discovered that there was a huge list of children waiting for foster places and decided he wanted to help out.
Being a foster parent was initially challenging for Steve and his wife, who works as a nurse. After supporting a girl with very serious issues, they took on a young boy, who we are not naming to respect his confidentially.
It was through fostering this boy that Steve first came into contact with Step by Step. Support Worker, Brad, spent a year working with the boy to boost his confidence, work through his issues and offer him ongoing support. Steve also learned first-hand about homelessness while volunteering at a night shelter.
Step by Step's Sleep Out event immediately appealed to Steve. The Sleep Out challenges participants to give up their beds for the night and sleep on the cold, hard terraces of EBB Stadium, Aldershot. Steve thought it was a great way to not only raise funds, but also awareness of issues he was all too familiar with.
Steve came to last year's Sleep Out with his foster son and was impressed that the event is so family-friendly: “It's really important for children to be aware that there are these problems”. He also describes the event as “a phenomenal fundraiser” and would encourage everyone to take part and get sponsored.
Asked why fundraising events like the Sleep Out are so important, Steve's response was as eloquent as it was passionate: “It's simply not acceptable for anyone to be homeless”.
There's still time to sign-up for Sleep Out 2019. Go to www.stepbystep.org.uk/sleepout today.