Business leaders rise to Sleepout challenge

May 20, 2019

Pictured (l-r): John Cove, Mike Hayward, Aran Jackson, Mayor Sam Crooks, Jo Carter, Jerry Taylor, Kelli Doorn and Simon Green

BOSSES across Milton Keynes are taking up a challenge to sleep out in a bid to raise money for the fight against homelessness and poverty.

Pictured are some of the first to sign up to the CEO Sleepout challenge, taking place on November 7 when they will give up their warm beds to literally ‘sleep out’ in a bid to raise money for local charities. 

CEO Sleepout has partnered with YMCA MK and the MK Dons Sport and Education Trust (to bring together fundraisers from all walks of life to expoerience a little of what those without homes go through every single night.

Since the charity was founded in 2013, CEO Sleepout events have been held at venues across the country, including at Wembley Stadium, St James’ Park, Newcastle, Old Trafford cricket ground, The Alnwick Garden and Lord’s Cricket Ground. Its events have raised more than £2 million to date.

“Although it is only for one night and does not come close to what homeless people experience night after night, CEO Sleepout is intended to raise awareness and lots of money to fight homelessness locally and nationally but also to remind all of us in business, about our social responsibility,” said CEO Sleepout chief executive Bianca Robinson.

She called on fellow business leaders to join them in the initiative.

Milton Keynes has been identified as the youth homelessness capital of the UK and YMCA MK are approached by over 1,000 young people every year, needing somewhere to live. The charity is redeveloping its accommodation in Central Mkilton Keynes to create 199 rooms, commercial and social activities to help homeless young people into employment.

YMCA MK chief executive Simon Green said: “We are seeking to develop stronger links with the business community to develop further employment opportunities for our young people. The CEO Sleepout event will provide funds to help maintain the availability of this support for our residents, as well as a unique networking opportunity for us to help young people belong, contribute and thrive.”

A number of business leaders have already signed up to take part, including Jo Carter of Concept Personnel, who has been instrumental in bringing the event to Milton Keynes, new Mayor Sam Crooks, MK Dons SET chair John Cove and others from across all industries.

Mr Cove said: “We know that sport, and football in particular, can inspire everyone. We also have a responsibility to use this inspiration as a catalyst to people making healthy and active lifestyle choices. So, while our programmes are fun and innovative, they are focused on delivering clear health messages and improving educational attainment. The money raised by this event will help support the continuation of this work particularly those at risk of homelessness.”

Find out more, including on how to sign up for the CEO Sleepout Milton Keynes, visit:

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