BUSINESS bosses from across the region have pledged to forgo their home comforts for a night under the stars to help the homeless.

Participants signed up to take part in this year’s CEO Sleepout gathered at Durham Cathedral to discuss why they have pledged their support to the fight against the growing problem of homelessness in the North-East.

The Durham landmark will play host to CEOs from the area’s business and leadership community on Tuesday, April 30, when vital funds will be raised for local charities.

One of the confirmed sleepers is Daniel O’Mahoney, managing director of Bradley O’Mahoney Public Relations.

On Thursday he said: “I was motivated to take part in the sleepout because, increasingly in the North-East, you see young people who are in a terrible state, in need of support and a roof over their heads.

“It is also a way of giving back to the community for all the money that has been driven into the North-East business economy in recent years.”

Claire McNally, duty manager at British Airways, will be taking to the cloisters for the second time.

She said: “I was passionate about taking part again because of the stories I kept hearing about people just like you and I, who suddenly fall on hard times and find themselves without a home.

“After my first stint, I remember fully appreciating the phrase feeling ‘chilled to the bone’.

“I put on as many layers as I could and was still freezing cold, but I was driven by the knowledge that what I was experiencing would shortly end when I returned home, unlike the reality that awaits homeless people.”

Representing Durham Cathedral on the night will be Canon Sophie Jelley, director of ministry, discipleship and mission.

She said: “In a time of increasing austerity, we are seeing an increase in homelessness in the city.

“Having lived here for four years, I have come face to face with the issue on many occasions.

“As a witness to god’s love, I want to make a contribution to the city, and participating in the sleep out is one of the tangible ways in which to do so.”

The money raised will be divided among beneficiary charities, including Hospitality and Hope and Durham Christian Partnership, both of which share the objective of alleviating homelessness and supporting vulnerable people in the North-East.

Businesses which would like to get involved can still register an interest with Clare Chillingworth by calling 0191-3744581. For more details visit