County Durham business leaders challenged to sleep out for charity

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Business leaders are being challenged to sleep out for a night when Darlington holds its first ever CEO Sleepout to raise funds in the fight against local homelessness and poverty.

North East-based charity CEO Sleepout is looking for leaders from County Durham’s most compassionate businesses who are willing to get sponsored to give up the comfort of their own bed for just one night sleeping under the stars.

Mowden Park Rugby Club will host the fundraising event that will see executives of dozens of local businesses swap their laptops and office comforts for sleeping bags and the cold floor.

Fundraisers are allowed to bring along a sleeping bag and mat, while warm clothes are recommended. There will also be access to hot drinks and toilets throughout the night.

Since founder-chairman Andy Preston held the first CEO Sleepout outside Middlesbrough FC’s Riverside Stadium four years ago, events have been held at iconic venues across the country.

Sleepout events have been held at Wembley Stadium, The Oval, Lord’s Cricket Ground, Newcastle’s St James’ Park, Birmingham’s Villa Park, Everton’s Goodison Park and at Durham Cathedral.

But CEO Sleepout’s Bianca Robinson said the enthusiasm and generosity of Mowden Park chairman Mick Birch and group managing director Lee Rust had helped bring the charitable phenomenon to Darlington for the first time.