Housing developer supports Leeds charity working to make sure the city's children have a bed and their own pyjamas

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A Yorkshire based housing developer is helping make sure deprived children in Leeds get a better night's sleep by supporting a local charity.

“Give every Head a Bed” is Zarach’s commitment to help ensure all children in the Leeds area have somewhere safe and comfortable to sleep with good, consistent access to healthy and nutritious food in order for them to succeed at school.

Bex Wilson is a deputy head teacher at an inner-city primary school in Leeds and is founder and trustee of the Zarach charity. It helps children living in poverty in Leeds, providing them with a bed and giving them a good night’s sleep, as well as an equal opportunity at school and was set up after Ms Wilson noticed that one of her students was distracted in the class-room because he had bed bugs.

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Volunteers out and about delivering bed boxes for Zarach.Volunteers out and about delivering bed boxes for Zarach.
Volunteers out and about delivering bed boxes for Zarach.

It costs around £150 to provide a kit and, even prior to the coronavirus pandemic, social inequality in Leeds and the need for interventions such as Zarach was on the rise.

Zarach branched out to distributing food parcels and doing food shops for the elderly and in the last year since the first lockdown has given out more than 4,000 masks, 70,000 equivalent meals delivered via Project Vantry and more than 1,000 home learning items delivered to local schools.

To help pay for the work that Zarach does across Leeds, Stonebridge Homes has been financially supporting the charity by donating money for every house they sell, and in the last 18 months this figure has reached nearly £20,000.

Ms Wilson said: "Thousands of children in Leeds are going to sleep hungry and cold and without a proper bed of their own. Poverty is a real problem that has a significant effect on a child’s education.

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"By providing something to eat and a good night’s sleep, we can give every child an equal chance to learn and succeed at school. Having the support of local companies like Stonebridge Homes keeps the charity going, and this means so much to the children of Leeds.”

CEO of Stonebridge Homes, Darren Stubbs added: “As a company, we are heavily invested in giving something back to the areas in which we live and work and supporting local charities and communities is at the heart of our values.

"In this day and age there is no excuse for any child to be living without the basics. Bex and the team at the Zarach charity do amazing things on a daily basis and even though Covid-19 restrictions have limited their work to urgent cases only, they have continued to deliver meals, face masks, home learning items and food shops for the elderly. They are a truly inspiring team.”

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