CEO'S have been swapping the comfort of their own bedrooms for the outdoors in an annual charity sleepout.

On Thursday, October 17, participants spent a night in a sleeping bag in Mowden Park RFC stadium to raise money to help the homeless.

Among those taking part was Justin Hutchens, Chief Executive of Darlington-headquartered HC-One, who beat his target of £2,000 raising £5,260 and counting for local homelessness charities.

This is the second year in a row that Mr Hutchens has taken part in CEO Sleepout Darlington.

He said: “As the CEO of an organisation that prides itself on providing kind care to the vulnerable elderly, the decision to take part in Darlington’s CEO Sleepout again and raise money for the homeless, was an easy one to make.

“The night itself, of course, was not easy – it was cold and we were sleeping on concrete.

"However, I had the luxury of being able to return to my home the next day, while the growing number of homeless people in our society have no such option.

"It is therefore so important we pull together as a community to help those who don’t have a roof over their head, and CEO Sleepout is a fantastic initiative that raises vital funds and awareness for this important cause.

“I’m proud to have played my part and cannot thank enough everyone who has supported me and made donations, your generosity helps make a real difference.”