£78,000 raised to fight homelessness with the help of local business leaders

CEO Sleepout Milton Keynes, held at Stadium MK on Thursday 7th November, helped to raise £78,000 to support the charity initiative to raise much-needed money for local charities.

This year, CEO Sleepout has partnered with MK Dons SET and YMCA MK to generate funds to support their life-altering work with homeless people, young adults and children who have been touched by homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. Milton Keynes’ business leaders slept out under the stars, experiencing a little of what those without homes go through every single night.

One of the highlights of the event was hearing the first ever live performance from participant Dean Jones, of ‘Call Me In’ the song he wrote to raise funds and awareness of the issue. The video had gone viral ahead of the event and helped Jones to raise in excess of £3,000 towards the cause.

CEO Sleepout is a national movement that holds events throughout the UK, inviting business owners and leaders to make a stand against homelessness and poverty by sleeping outside for one night and raising or donating money, all of which goes to charity partners - small, local, grassroot charities who all work on the front line to tackle homelessness and poverty.

So far, more than 3,000 executives have raised £2.7 million to fight poverty and homelessness in the UK.

CEO Sleepout’s CEO, Bianca Robinson, said: “Although it’s only for one night, and doesn’t 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.

“Our team of CEOs and business leaders in Milton Keynes were fantastic when we spent that cold November night sleeping out. Together, they’ve raised an incredible sum of money which will make a huge difference to the work of local charities in supporting those in Milton Keynes who are most in need.”

John Cove, Chair of MK Dons Sport and Education Trust, 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, whilst our programmes are fun and innovative, they are focused on delivering clear health messages and improving educational attainment. By understanding the needs of our community, we have delivered projects that have improved literacy, numeracy and ICT levels; increased confidence, self-esteem and communication skills; and broken down cultural and social barriers. The money raised by this event will help support the continuation of this work, particularly those at risk of homelessness.”

Simon Green, YMCA MK CEO, said:

“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. It is an exciting time for YMCA MK as we re-develop our accommodation, building 199 rooms, as well as hosting a range of commercial and social enterprise activities, designed to support homeless young people into employment. 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.”

The sleepout events work on several levels. They give business leaders an insight into homelessness and poverty and what it is like not to have a roof over your head, as well as an opportunity to rub shoulders and network with other executives and to raise money to help vulnerable members of society.

There has never been such a pressing need for organisations like ours. Homelessness has risen by 160% since 2010, there are 245,000 children registered as homeless and the overhaul of the benefits system, with the introduction of Universal Credit, has tipped people from poverty into absolute destitution.

“We really believe that business leaders can drive positive social change and that they actually have a responsibility to rise to such challenges,” added Simon.

Business leaders have prospered, they have worked hard and they absolutely deserve the success and results of their labour, but what they can do now is show solidarity with people who are not as fortunate, show compassionate leadership by making a stand and making a noise - that powerful voice of business is what policymakers will listen to.

Businesses have the potential to improve lives by looking after their workers’ happiness and wellbeing, paying a living wage, making sure staff can get to and from work, providing adequate holiday and downtime, offering people opportunities by recruiting apprentices and enabling staff to advance their careers, and ensuring suppliers follow a similar ethos.

“We all have a responsibility to help disadvantaged vulnerable members of society and that a right to economic equality is as fundamental as any other human rights,” says Simon.

“You can make a real difference by joining one of our CEO Sleepout events which are held throughout the year in locations all across the UK.”

For more information and to register to take part in your nearest event visit

www.ceosleepoutuk.comwww.ceosleepoutuk.com or email Bianca directly on bianca@ceosleepoutuk.com