Those braving the elements will be giving up on any luxuries for a night to raise money for CEO Sleepout, a nationwide initiative which brings senior level executives together to fight poverty in the regions where they live and work.
Governor of HMP Durham, Tim Allen, is taking part to raise awareness of the links between homelessness and reoffending, as well as the benefits of rehabilitation.
Tim Allen said: ‘One of my main priorities at HMP Durham is to reduce reoffending, and tackling issues of homelessness is a key part of this. By participating in this year’s CEO Sleepout I hope to support the local community as well as raising awareness of the plight of homeless people throughout County Durham’.
CEO Sleepout supports homelessness charities such as Depaul and the Cardinal Hume Centre and recently some of the money raised by the group has gone towards to funding a new restaurant in Middlesbrough, The Fork (in The Road), which gives opportunities to recovering addicts, ex-offenders and the long term unemployed. One of the charities benefitting from the funds raised by CEO Sleepout Durham is ‘Changing Lives’ who run a range of support and accommodation services for people who are homeless, struggling with addictions and involved with the criminal justice system.
The CEO Sleepout in Durham will take place on Monday 24 April in the Cloister of Durham Cathedral and anyone wishing to register to take part can still do so at the CEO Sleepout website www.ceosleepoutuk.com. Whilst sleepouts are taking place across the country at locations including Manchester, London and Nottingham, the North East events are extra special for the Middlesbrough born founder of CEO Sleepout, Andy Preston, who himself will be taking part in the Durham sleepout.
Andy said: ‘The CEO Sleepout is a great way to raise money. It gives senior level executives the chance to have fun doing something away from the boardroom, whilst raising funds for organisations which support those living in poverty.
‘Durham Cathedral is the perfect location for the CEO Sleepout. The Cathedral itself has been a place of sanctuary for people for almost 1,000 years and continues to provide support for those in need, working with Durham Christian Partnership on projects including Durham Foodbank and the Cathedral Listeners, trained volunteers available in the Cathedral for people who need someone to talk to.’
Premier’s Northern Correspondent Ian Britton has been to meet the Middlesbrough born founder of CEO Sleepout, Andy Preston, who himself will be taking part in the Durham sleepout.
Written by: Miriam Emenike
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