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Highlighting the homeless issue in York


6:40pm 9th June 2011

Aviva staff will be sleeping rough on the streets of York on Friday 10th June 2011 in a bid to highlight the issue of street children.

The Sleep Out is part of Aviva’s Street to School programme which is designed to help vulnerable children get off the streets and back into education.

There will be around 15 Aviva employees taking part in the 12-hour event outside the insurer’s Yorkshire House building on Friday night.

Staff will be joined by senior management including Aviva UK Life Chief Financial Officer, John Lister, in supporting the UK stage of the company’s global ambition to reach 500,000 children worldwide over the next five years.

In the UK, Aviva’s Street to School programme has joined forces with the Railway Children charity to raise awareness and help address the plight of the 100,000 children who run away from home or care every year.

The York sleep out is one of five simultaneous events taking place at Aviva offices across the UK – other offices involved are London, Norwich, Glasgow and Sheffield.

This is the second year running Aviva have held a Sleep Out across the UK.

The success of last year’s event has lead to international participation with Aviva offices in Ireland and the USA taking part this year.

John Ainley, Aviva group HR director and executive co-sponsor of the Street to School initiative, who will be sleeping out in London on Friday night said:

“I'm delighted to see that Aviva Sleep Outs are back for 2011 and that other countries are joining forces to create a night of action on behalf of street children around the world.

“Aviva Street to School has captured the hearts and minds of our employees, business partners and customers alike and I'm proud that we're using our scale and strength as an international group not only to help our communities close to home, but raise awareness of the ever-growing global issue.”

Terina Keene, Railway Children’s chief executive added:

“Our partnership with Aviva is making a huge difference to children living on the streets in the UK. Our research ‘Off the Radar’ reveals that UK children run away from home for many reasons, just as they do in developing countries.Many of them are never reported missing and they will sleep on the streets because they are too afraid to go home.

“In order for us to help our most vulnerable children, it is critical that we raise awareness of their needs and their existence here in the UK. If we are to succeed in our efforts to help these children, the support from Aviva and their staff is invaluable.”

Aviva has a long track record of community investment and last year invested £4.3m in the UK with staff, who all get three days paid volunteering leave, delivering over 24,000 volunteering hours.

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