• Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

North East Connected

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Call issued for business leaders to sleep out

Business leaders across Teesside are being asked to spend a night outdoors as part of a charity initiative that has raised £3m to date.

CEO Sleepout is a national programme of events to raise money to combat homelessness, and businesspeople from across Teesside are being urged to take part in the Middlesbrough event – where it all started – in May.

Chief Executive Bianca Robinson said: “The first ever sleepout was held in Middlesbrough in 2013, after being organised by Andy Preston, now executive mayor of Middlesbrough.

“Since then, it has grown into a national charity creating unforgettable events in cities across the UK and attracting top-tier business leaders who come together to fight homelessness. This year will be our ninth year, and we can announce that the charity has raised a whopping £3million in that time.

“CEO Sleepout events not only raise big money, but they unlock compassion and understanding, empowering our network to speak up, speak out, and use their power to move the dial when it comes to inequalities evident in our society.”

There are 13 spaces left of the 50 available for the Middlesbrough event, which will be held on May 9th at Middlesbrough Town Hall.

One of those already signed up is Jason West, CEO of JMW Digital, which is based in Middlesbrough.

He said: “The event is for a great cause, and I feel in an extremely privileged position to be able to help.

“I have experience of homelessness and drug abuse in my family, as I’ve watched my mam provide for and look after her brothers ever since I was a child, as they moved in and out of living arrangements and battled with addictions.

“However, I’m also aware that there are a lot more deep-rooted reasons for why someone may end up homeless and it’s not always about drugs.

“I feel that anyone in a privileged position, and in this case that means you have a roof over your head, who can take part should take part. People need help and we should remember everyone is a human being.”

Bianca hopes that this year’s Middlesbrough sleepout will raise £35,000, which will be split between 10 local frontline charities, including EVA Women’s Aid and TRAC, an independent advocacy service for people with substance misuse issues. Ten per cent of funds will also go to the Disasters Emergency Committee to support those impacted by the conflict in Ukraine.

Richinda Taylor, CEO of EVA, said: “We were delighted to be chosen as one of the charities benefitting from the CEO Sleepout. Domestic abuse is one of the most common causes of homelessness and this recognises the part EVA plays in addressing the homelessness issue for survivors of abuse

“The money we receive will help us to support victims and survivors of abuse who, through no fault of their own, are made homeless. We do this by providing emergency accommodation for women fleeing abuse, so every penny helps EVA to continue that work.”

Annalice Argyle, CEO of TRAC, added: “To be chosen as a beneficiary of the CEO Sleepout is a massive honour; it means a lot to us that our work is being recognised in the region.

“The funds raised will help our organisation deliver more support to local people who are experiencing addictive behaviour patterns. These vital funds will help us to guide clients down their chosen, positive health path, promote visible recovery in the community and reduce stigma around the subject matter.”

For more information or to sign up for the event, visit ceosleepoutuk.com/middlesbrough-2022

By admin