Business leaders across Teesside are being asked to spend a night outdoors as part of a charity initiative that has raised £3m to date.

CEO Sleepout is a national programme of events to raise money to combat homelessness, and businesspeople from across Teesside are being urged to take part in the Middlesbrough event – where it all started – in May.

Chief Executive Bianca Robinson said: “The first ever sleepout was held in Middlesbrough in 2013, after being organised by Andy Preston, now executive mayor of Middlesbrough.

“Since then, it has grown into a national charity creating unforgettable events in cities across the UK. This year will be our ninth year, and we can announce that the charity has raised a whopping £3million in that time."

There are 13 spaces left of the 50 available for the Middlesbrough event, which will be held on May 9th at Middlesbrough Town Hall.

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One of those already signed up is Jason West, CEO of JMW Digital, which is based in Middlesbrough.

He said: “I have experience of homelessness and drug abuse in my family, as I’ve watched my mam provide for and look after her brothers ever since I was a child, as they moved in and out of living arrangements and battled with addictions.

“However, I’m also aware that there are a lot more deep-rooted reasons for why someone may end up homeless and it’s not always about drugs.

“I feel that anyone in a privileged position, and in this case that means you have a roof over your head, who can take part should take part.

"People need help and we should remember everyone is a human being.”

Bianca hopes that this year’s Middlesbrough sleepout will raise £35,000, which will be split between 10 local frontline charities, including EVA Women’s Aid and TRAC, an independent advocacy service for people with substance misuse issues. Ten per cent of funds will also go to the Disasters Emergency Committee to support those impacted by the conflict in Ukraine.

For more information or to sign up for the event, visit


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