Posted 19/01/2018

Baby it’s cold outside…

We take so much for granted, don't we?

OK, so that’s a Christmas song and Christmas is behind us now, but I’m glad I have your attention.

It IS cold outside, in fact temperatures are falling to freezing levels overnight, so it’s at this time of year that we should all be especially thankful for warm houses, open fires, food and decent clothing. I believe, as we head into another New Year, it’s a good idea to turn our thoughts to those in need.

So, here I am to wave my flag and get your attention for Action for Children, in support of Britain’s homeless. Sit up and take note of why this matters to me and what we can do each year to make a difference – and please dig deep to support our efforts again this year.

In 2014, I set up the first CEO Sleepout which returns on 22 March 2018, to raise awareness and vital funds for Action for Children, a superb charity working tirelessly to support children in all areas of life, and they work exceptionally hard to support young homeless people.

So far, the Sleepout has raised over £500k for the cause. We do this by rounding up a willing group of top CEOs who spend one night a year together sleeping on the cold, hard ground in London’s Paternoster Square.

It is a big undertaking for all of us, but just a small gesture to raise awareness for this massive concern.

Did you know there are up to 83,000 young people without a permanent home in Britain at the moment? These children may be housed in in temporary accommodation in the form of hostels, care centres or refuges.

If none of the above are available, they are forced on to the streets.

Consider the Christmas you have recently experienced. While we are at it, let’s look back on 2017 overall… holidays, meals out, day trips, family gatherings…

We take so much for granted, don’t we?

The children that Action for Children are supporting can only dream of these things. The circumstances leading up to their homelessness will most likely have been completely out of their control. Many of these children will lack the basic family set up and support to protect and guide them into safer, more secure environments.

Coming from a less than perfect family set up, spending my childhood between a squat in London and troubles in Rhodesia, I know that life for me could have been very different if it weren’t for a few lucky breaks to get me on the road to where I am today. I will be eternally thankful for that, and it makes supporting Action for Children a priority for me.

At last year’s event, temperatures hit freezing overnight. It was an incredibly tough night all round. Some of the team had started the night unwell and weren’t sure they could face a full night outside.

For us, it is just one night, for others it’s a lifetime.

But we are doing this so that you don’t have to!

It may just be “one night” for us CEOs but believe me, it’s one long and tough night – a massive challenge both mentally and physically – and it is an incredibly humbling experience.

So, I hope you will support me and my fellow CEOs as we do our bit to raise funds for Action for Children to support homeless and vulnerable children in 2018 –  with our CEO Sleepout on 22 March 2018.

For further details on the CEO Sleepout and taking part, please head here. Remember, we are doing this so you don’t have to – but most importantly, to give hope to thousands of homeless youths in the UK this winter.

Put yourself in their shoes for a moment… then head to this link to sponsor me.

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