An event that saw business leaders sleeping under the stars at St James’ Park has so far raised £70,000 for homeless charities – doubling the previous record.
Executives swapped the luxury of their beds for sleeping bags and layers of clothing when they set up camp on the pitch on March 3.
There have been other CEO sleepouts held at venues including Wembley Stadium, Cardiff Castle and the Riverside, home of Middlesbrough FC.
But with sponsorship money continuing to flow in, Newcastle 2016 could be the most successful event outside of London in terms of money raised.
Adam Bell, CEO of Mortimer Bell International said ” When I was approached to take part in CEO Sleepout I must admit I didn’t really know much about the charity and what would be involved. After looking at the website I was slightly taking back when I saw that they would require us to sleep outside in the elements with no more than a Sleeping bag and a cardboard box to sleep on.”
“My partner couldn’t believe I’d sign up – we have been camping before and it was clear that outdoor activities were outside of my comfort zone so to take on this challenge in the middle of the winter with temperatrues below zero degress was going to be tough no matter how many layers I wore.”
“I have always had huge sympathy for people suffering from homelessness, but even more so after my experience at the CEO Sleepout. I can now understand how exposed they are to the elements and also how dangerous it must be when sleeping on the streets. I am very proud to take part in this event and more so that the North East region was able to raise £70,000.”
Andy Preston, head of CEO sleepout, said: “With the exception of London, the Newcastle event had our biggest number of participants so far, with 80 people taking part.
“The record amount raised outside of London was in Cardiff, which reached £75,000 – so Newcastle is now very close and could overtake it at any time soon, which is just fantastic.
“The fact that the Newcastle leg might become the most successful one outside of London is a credit to the North East and business executives on Tyneside.”