BUSINESS leaders are being encouraged to sleep rough for the night this autumn.

Darlington will host its first CEO Sleepout at Mowden Park Rugby Club on Thursday, October 18.

The event will see executives from dozens of businesses swap their home comforts for sleeping bags and the cold floor.

Organisers are hoping to get at least 40 businesses involved in the sleepout, which aims to raise funds to tackle homelessness and poverty in the area.

The North-East based charity CEO Sleepout is looking for Darlington’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.”

Bianca Robinson, from the charity, said: “We’ve been looking to bring CEO Sleepout to Darlington for some time and are thrilled that Mowden Park are enabling us to do that.

“We’re now looking for the region’s business leaders to show just how compassionate Darlington and the surrounding area is to help make a real impact on an incredibly serious issue of local poverty and homelessness.

“We’re hoping for at least 40 to take part and promise participants they’ll have an unusual and memorable night - and meet some fascinating individuals, all of whom have given up one night of comfort to help others.”

Fundraisers, who will have access to hot drinks and toilets , are asked to raise more than £1,000 in sponsorship and are invited to bring a sleeping bag and mat, with warm clothes recommended. To register, visit