Calling on CEOs to Swap Suburbia for a Sleeping Bag
With Manchester’s skyline and economy continuing to grow at a significant rate, it can appear that all is well, however, scratch the surface a little and there is a growing human cost being borne by the most vulnerable people in society. Since 2016 homelessness has risen by a staggering 24% ; 1 person in every 600 in the Greater Manchester area now has no permanent roof over their head. Miriam Morris, Director of the Church Housing Trust, which operates in Manchester and across the UK, said: “The situation has worsened even in the last 4 months, with a 50% increase in the demand for small grants by homeless individuals, which are used to help with primary basic needs, such as clothing and food.”
Helping to combat homelessness and poverty across the UK is CEO Sleep Out, a charity that is challenging senior executives from some of the city’s leading businesses to brave the October elements and sleep outdoors for a night. Having raised £67k last year to help combat homelessness, the money raised helped local charities such as MASH and Mustard Tree, who are under increasingly intense pressure as the number of people in need of help rises and the impact of 10 years of austerity is felt through overstretched local authority budgets and as the general public are less able to donate money to charity.
Just one of the organisations working with CEO Sleepout and to benefit from the funds raised is Manchester charity, MASH. Speaking on behalf of the charity Helen Clayton commented: ‘MASH provides support to some of the most vulnerable women in Manchester – women sex working (in prostitution) on the streets. Some of the funds raised at CEO Sleepout will help women in real crisis find a home.’
Pitching in and already signed up to take on the elements this October is Peter Pritchard from Pets at Home, Jenna Bowyer from Boohoo, Stella Bowdell from Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Andy Lord from Rethink Group and Clare Turner from Matt & Phreds, amongst others.
The event, being staged at Lancashire County Cricket Club on October 16th, will start at 8pm and finish the following morning and will see business leaders faced with the challenge of giving up the comfort of their bed for a night, to help raise funds for those who don’t have one.
Sandy Mitchell from the Lancashire County Cricket Club (LCCC) Foundation said: “This is a great opportunity to raise people’s awareness of homelessness in Manchester and by partnering up with CEO Sleepout UK again we believe we can achieve bigger and better results than the 2016 event and help to raise significant funds for charities that support those in need, day in and day out.”
Andy Preston from CEO Sleepout UK said: “CEO Sleepout UK is delighted to be working with the LCCC Foundation again following last year’s successful event. By engaging with the business community we aim to raise funds to help fight poverty and homelessness in Manchester.”
CEO Sleepout Manchester 2017, is one of 8 ‘sleepouts’ to be staged across the UK this year, with the initiative hoping to raise over £500,000 in total. Since launching in 2013 the charity has seen over 1,000 executives take on the challenge and raised over £1,000,000 to fight homelessness and poverty in the UK.
For more information, to register or pledge your support to fight homelessness and poverty in the city visit the CEO Sleepout website at www.ceosleepoutuk.com/manchester.