Bath Rugby Foundation will support two other good causes at this year’s Rec Sleep Out.

The annual event was created to tackle the issue of youth homelessness and this year’s event at the home of Bath Rugby will also help The Amber Foundation and Eddie Ilic, both of whom have strong links to the problem.

The Rec Sleep Out takes place on Wednesday, November 6. Bath Rugby Foundation works with more than 3,000 children and young people annually and staff are increasingly aware that more and more of the participants on the charity’s programmes do not have the security of a permanent home. Many young people find themselves sofa-surfing or moving between various types of temporary accommodation. Sadly, there are often times that young people arrive at the charity hungry.

Eddie Ilic has become a well-known and popular figure in Bath after he started using his own skills as a hairdresser to support the city’s homeless community. He is often seen around the city centre giving haircuts to homeless people.

Sign up to take part in the Rec Sleep Out

Earlier this year Eddie was given a standing ovation as he approached the stage to collect a Bath Life Award for his work on Eddie’s Street Cuts. Eddie also spoke movingly of his own experiences of addiction and recovery to the crowd at last year’s Rec Sleep Out and has spoken to Bath Rugby Foundation’s HITZ participants – and offered free haircuts to the youngsters at the same time.

The Amber Foundation offers supported housing to young people at its Wiltshire base in Trowbridge. Recently a group of young people who live at Amber signed up to take part in Bath Rugby Foundation employability programmes.

As well as a safe place to spend the night, Amber offers training and support to address specific personal issues along with new experiences and opportunities that raise aspiration and challenge residents to take responsibility for their lives and move forward positively. The charity bases its approach on their model of ‘dreams and desires’, providing each individual with a bespoke, practical programme of activities that builds their skills and qualifications, develops their resilience and purpose, improves their confidence and wellbeing and focuses firmly on their strengths and interests. Amber aims to help as many young people as possible move on to sustainable work, a secure home and a fulfilling future.

Sign up to take part in the Rec Sleep Out

Eddie Ilic said: “I want to help support the message that youth homelessness is a very real issue in Bath, as it is everywhere.

“It is not something that people realise, but it does impact on too many people.

“I also want to support the work of Bath Rugby Foundation, which does amazing work with young people.”

Laura Fenson, Fundraising Manager at Amber Foundation, said: “The Amber Foundation’s aim is to transform lives by supporting young people to move on to sustainable, independent futures but we cannot achieve this alone.

“This year has seen the continued development of partnerships with organisations such as The Bath Rugby Foundation, who provide additional specialist support and inspiration to young people living at our centre.

“We would like to express our sincere thanks to The Bath Rugby Foundation for their continued support and for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this year’s Rec Sleep Out."

Two young people who have recently been supported by both Amber Foundation and Bath Rugby Foundation, Aiden Hungerford and Leah Gardener, have been given their backing to the event, having experienced homelessness themselves.

Read about Leah and Aiden’s experience

Bath Rugby Foundation CEO, Lynne Fernquest, said: “The team at Bath Rugby Foundation are delighted to be able to support two causes that have such a positive and powerful impact on homelessness.

“Having spent time with some of the young Amber Foundation residents and seeing the impact having a safe and stable place to live gives to young people who have had the toughest start in life it is was an easy decision to make.

“And the positive effect Eddie Ilic is having in Bath, not only supporting homeless people and giving them hope for the future, but also raising awareness of a very real issue, is exceptional.

“Both of these causes match Bath Rugby Foundation’s desire to change lives.”

Support Bath Rugby Foundation, Amber Foundation and Eddie’s Street Cuts by spending the night at the home of Bath Rugby.

Sign up to take part in the Rec Sleep Out 

Follow Eddie Ilic on Twitter here.

Follow Amber Foundation on Twitter here.