• Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

North East Connected

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Calling Sunderland business leaders – CEO Sleepout is back!

Company bosses from across the Sunderland area are being asked to spend a night in the cold to raise vital funds to combat homelessness.

After holding its first event in the area in 2021, CEO Sleepout is back in Sunderland once again and the charity organisers are asking business leaders and executives to give up their beds for one night to help support people who are homeless in the region.

Chief executive Bianca Robinson said: “After raising an incredible £21,898 at the first Sunderland event, I am incredibly excited to be back in the region.

“Over 65 people have already signed up to take part in the sleepout at the Stadium of Light and there are limited spaces left, so I would encourage anyone from the area to sign up and experience what is sure to be an unforgettable night.”

Speaking about the local business community, Bianca added: “Sunderland’s business leaders are a bighearted bunch and we’ve seen how generous they can be when they come together for a common cause.

“It’s well known that 40% of children in Sunderland were already living in poverty before the cost-of-living crisis and that’s unacceptable. I am hoping company bosses can make a stand and help to lay the foundations for local people to thrive.”

Funds raised from the sleepout on November 3rd will be donated to a number of local charities such as: Foundation of Light, Walking With The Wounded, Depaul UK, Red Sky Foundation and Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen.

Walking With The Wounded is a national leading military charity which offers employment, mental health, care coordination, and volunteering programmes to help vulnerable veterans back on their feet.

Tommy Watson, the director of operations at the charity, said: “It is a fantastic opportunity to work in partnership with CEO Sleepout.

“Homelessness isn’t just about being homeless – there are multiple factors involved in veterans finding themselves isolated and struggling to cope in civilian life and our critical work aims to save jobs, homes, relationships and lives of struggling service men and women.”

Another charity which is receiving support from this year’s sleepout is Red Sky Foundation which supports people living with complex heart conditions and has a defibrillator project designed to educate the public on the use of CPR and install public access defibrillators across the North East.

Funds from the event will be used to add more defibrillators to Sunderland city centre.

The charity founder, Sergio Petrucci said: “This will protect people living on the streets from cardiac arrest and will mean we are giving less fortunate people the best chance of surviving a medical emergency.”

One participant who decided to take part to help raise awareness is Sarah Reid, who is the managing director at Richard Reed Solicitors. She said: “We all too often turn a blind eye to homelessness, either because it is so prevalent, and we stop ‘seeing’ it, or because we don’t understand it.

“The stories of those who are homeless go unseen as it’s an issue too easy to ignore. People end up homeless for multiple reasons and it could be anyone of us.”

Sarah, who hopes to raise £800 this year, took part in the first Sunderland event last year and said: “It’s an experience! It increases levels of understanding and awareness in a way that no other experience could.”

Since CEO Sleepout was founded in 2013, events have raised £3.1 million, with funds being donated to charities across the UK.

For more information or to sign up for this year’s event at the Stadium of Light on November 3rd, visit ceosleepoutuk.com/sunderland

By admin