Posted 29/03/2018

Thank you!

We Smashed it!

Following the CEOSleepout for Action for Children on Thursday 22nd March, I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who sponsored the team of CEOs and helped us break through our target of £100k. We have so far raised £109k – and we’re still taking donations!

On a personal level, I beat my sponsorship target and raised over £16K, so a special thank you goes to all my sponsors who donated to my Just Giving page. You made it all so worthwhile and have played your part in changing the lives of homeless youths in the UK via the great work of Action for Children.

The night got off to an exciting start, the usual hubbub when us CEOs get together and catch up on current affairs – and emotions were running high in anticipation for the night ahead. We then got down to the serious business of the event, with a team briefing about security and safety for our night of rough sleeping, before getting ready to settle into our sleeping bags on individual mats within a cordoned off area of Paternoster Square, the home of London’s Stock Exchange. Clearly, this isn’t a totally authentic homeless experience but certain requirements are necessary for the event to go ahead.

CEO Sleepout 2018, Michael Tobin OBE, Action for Children

It was cold last week and just like last year, temperatures dropped to freezing overnight on Thursday. With the arrival of showers in the early hours of the morning, it was incredibly challenging to get any sleep at all and many of us felt little hope of even getting comfortable for the night.

We “woke” the following morning… cold and damp. The atmosphere was remarkably different to the one we had all experienced the previous evening.

But, as we all acknowledged, this was one night for us. We all knew we just had to get through those 12 hours or so, then we could rest and recover at home, safe, warm and well-nourished.

For others, rough sleeping is the reality of the life they have in front of them night after night. There are approximately 5000 recorded rough sleepers in the UK at the moment and 83,000 people without a permanent roof over their heads from one night to the next.

These are frightening statistics, and even more disturbing to think that a percentage of these are children and young adults. Depression rates are 10 times higher in the homeless population. Substance abuse, complex trauma and suicide all form part of this picture.

It is terrifying to think that children are frequently found in this situation, but charities like Action for Children are working hard to support those in need and break the cycle of homelessness.

I shared these stats recently – and I think they’re worth reading again when you consider the difference that the £109k raised by the CEO team will make:

  • £20 pays for food parcels to help parents feed their children nutritious meals.
  • £25 pays for emergency overnight support for five young people on the verge of homelessness.
  • £50 pays for a one-to-one counselling session for a child who has been abused, or keeps a project open for an hour for children in urgent need.
  • £100 gives 60 children a hot, nutritious meal.

So, again, a huge thank you from me, the CEO sleepers, Action for Children – and most importantly, any person who has been touched by the work that Action for Children do. Your donations will go a long way in support, refuge, counselling and nourishment and it makes the whole event a deserved success.

If you haven’t managed to, but would like to sponsor me for the #CEOSleepout2018, please head to my page here.

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