People’s Partnership Chief Executive Officer spends night on the streets of Crawley as part of the Big Sleep Out

The Chief Executive Officer of People’s Partnership spent a night sleeping rough on the streets of Crawley to raise much-needed funds for a local charity.

Using only a sleeping bag and a piece of cardboard, Patrick Heath-Lay, who leads 850 staff at the Manor Royal-based provider of The People’s Pension, spent Thursday night in the town’s Queen’s Square, braving rain and temperatures of 8 degrees Celsius. He, two colleagues, and fellow volunteers were taking part in the Big Sleep Out, which is the major fundraising event of the year for Crawley Open House.

The Three Bridges organisation provides shelter for 55 homeless people every night and, last year alone, provided 48,000 meals. It is currently People’s Partnership charity of the year, which means that it receives the proceeds of fundraising by staff throughout the financial year and employees are also volunteering to help with various tasks, including working in the kitchens.

Mr Heath-Lay said:

“It’s worrying to think that many people are only two or three pay cheques away from homelessness at any given time, and with the cost-of-living crisis this could worsen. I spent the evening reflecting on the fears and uncertainty faced by those who find themselves homeless. I’m lucky that I get to go home but for too many people in the local community, who often go unnoticed, this isn’t the case.

“As an organisation that has been at the heart of the community for 60 years, we really want to give back to the local area and are honoured to support Crawley Open House, so it can continue its valuable work.”

Ian Wilkins from Crawley Open House said: “We are very grateful to Patrick and his team from People’s Partnership for giving up their time and home comforts for the night. We know it’s only a tiny glimpse of the discomfort and vulnerability that too many have to face EVERY night, but it’s a good way of raising the profile of the issue. The event also raises vital funds towards our work offering accommodation, food and support to those experiencing homelessness and severe hardship locally, and we are thankful to all those who took part and those who sponsored them.”

To support Patrick and his colleagues’ fundraising efforts, please visit: People’s Partnership is fundraising for Crawley Open House ( People’s Partnership will match the amount that is raised.


People’s Partnership names Crawley Open House as its staff charity of the year

West Sussex pension provider People’s Partnership1 has announced that the much-loved local institution Crawley Open House2 will be its staff charity of the year for 2023/4.

Crawley has the second highest level of homelessness in Sussex, with Crawley Open House giving shelter to as many as 55 people every night and providing training for those in need.

By becoming charity of the year, Crawley Open House will benefit from fundraising and volunteering by the 750 employees at People’s Partnership during the next 12 months.

The not-for-profit provider of The People’s Pension, which has more than six million members across the UK, has a long association with Crawley Open House and, in 2021, donated £20,000 to help toward the build of its new resource centre. 

The Manor Royal-based organisation provides its staff with volunteering days to help in the community and has previously supported local good causes such as Sussex Search Dogs and Holbrook Animal Rescue. Last year’s chosen charity, Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre, received nearly £3,600 as a result of staff fundraising at People’s Partnership.

Nicola Sinclair, Head of Responsible Business at People’s Partnership, said: “As an organisation that was founded for social good, we’re thrilled that our staff have decided to dedicate their fundraising activity for the next year to Crawley Open House. It’s an incredible charity, which provides a service which is, sadly, much needed, to Crawley and the wider area. Its values resonate strongly with our own purpose and values as a company to make a difference for people.”

Ian Wilkins, Fundraising and Relationships Manager at Crawley Open House said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as Charity of the Year by People’s Partnership. It’s a great endorsement of the work we do – providing accommodation and support to those experiencing homelessness in and around Crawley.

“We have got to know some of the staff at People’s Partnership and we are very excited at coming up with some creative and meaningful joint activities this year, to raise funds for our work and also awareness around the issues of homelessness and poverty locally.”


People’s Partnership named as sponsor of the National Junior Athletics Championships 2023

West Sussex organisation People’s Partnership1 has teamed up with national charity Activity Alliance2 and will sponsor the National Junior Athletics Championships 2023.

The annual event will take place in Coventry, West Midlands, on 1-2 July with more than 200 disabled junior athletes expected to compete.

For decades this Championships has led the way in finding future stars. This new partnership with one of the UK’s biggest workplace pension providers, means more talented juniors can take part in a full track and field programme.  

Seven-time Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockcroft, triple Paralympic silver medallist Kare Adenegan and triple Paralympic gold medallist Aled Davies all started their careers at the junior competition.

The support of the Crawley-based, not-for-profit People’s Partnership will ensure Activity Alliance can deliver a fantastic two-day event, where many young disabled people from across the country can compete.

Patrick Heath-Lay, Chief Executive of People’s Partnership, which provides The People’s Pension to more than six million people across the UK, said:

“As an organisation that was founded for social good and is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion, we are incredibly proud to be sponsoring the National Junior Athletics Championships. The games have a long and rich history of both empowering young athletes to fulfil their potential as well as unearthing sporting stars of tomorrow and this resonates strongly with our purpose and values as a company to make a difference for people.  We hope our involvement will help this success to continue.” 

Adam Blaze, Activity Alliance Chief Executive said:

“We are delighted to welcome People’s Partnership as the new headline sponsors for this year’s Championships. We hear time and time again how important this Championships is for the young athletes, for competition experience, to meet their peers from other regions and most of all, what fun it is too!  We also know from their coaches, teachers, and parents how important this type of event is and how vital it is to keep it going every year. We will again be supported by a passionate Lions Club International volunteer team.

“The event and its impact epitomise Activity Alliance’s vision to see fairness for disabled people in sport and activity. Therefore, we are so thankful for the support of People’s Partnership for the first time at such an important annual event.”

The organisers ensure that there is something for juniors with every impairment to take part in. The athletes compete for medals and top trophies, in a central top class sporting venue. Everyone is welcome to enter, from beginners to established athletes, starting from under 9 to 20 years old.

Athletes like Michael Jenkins, from Haverfordwest, who won three gold medals at last year’s event:

“This event is important as it helps everybody be included in competitions. It gives lots of disabled people a chance to compete and have fun.”

To find out more or to enter the event, please contact Jannine Walker, National Events Manager,

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