03 Nov 2022
On Monday 21st November, over 100 CEOs and business leaders across London will give up their warm beds to spend the night sleeping outdoors at Lord’s Cricket Ground, in a bid to tackle homelessness in the capital. With the cost-of-living crisis worse than ever, there is now a 23% increase of people sleeping rough compared to 2021, and CEO Sleepout UK is helping to raise vital funds to support those in need.
Many of the capital’s most prominent hospitality figures are taking to their sleeping bags this year including: Henrik Muehle, Managing Director of Flemings Mayfair Hotel; Martin Williams, CEO of Gaucho and M Restaurants; Andy Hornby, CEO of The Restaurant Group; Una O’Reilly, Group Chief of People at Caprice Holdings; Tony Sophoclides, Public Affairs & Media Practitioner at UK Hospitality and Yishay Malkov, CEO of Various Eateries plc.
Henrik Muehle currently takes the lead on the fundraising board, securing over £17,000 in donations so far. Last year, he donated over £13,000 via CEO Sleepout to Charity Begins at Home. The UK registered charity runs food distribution every Friday, relying solely on volunteers and donations, and Henrik has been a volunteer for the past 2.5 years. In the last two years, Flemings Mayfair has cooked and donated over 7,000 meals to people in need.
Henrik Muehle comments: “With rising numbers of people in need relying so much more on food banks – compounded in 2022 by the cost-of-living crisis – it’s so important we do our bit for those less fortunate. What’s more, the Mayor of London is charging charities to operate in the centre of London. For example, Charity Begins at Home is having to pay more than £3,000 per year on Congestion Charges and Ultra Low Emission Zones. This must stop, and I call on Sadiq Khan to action and assist charities, since London is the only major city in the world where a charity is charged to operate this way. I implore you all to dig deep to support the incredible initiative of CEO Sleepout and call on more of my peers to take part.”
Chief Executive of CEO Sleepout UK, Bianca Robinson noted: “At CEO Sleepout, we aim to pull the powerful voices of business together to demand change: a long-term vision to end homelessness and to make sure individuals, with the same hopes, dreams, talents, stories as ourselves, have a secure, affordable roof over their heads. London’s business leadership community has the power and an opportunity to use their voice to shine a light on the issue, and lead from the front when it comes to compassion and care for some of the most marginalised people in our communities.”
CEO Sleepout has partnered with local charities SHP, Walking With The Wounded, Charity Begins at Home, Borderline, Only a Pavement Away, London Irish Foundation, The YES Charity, Depaul UK, Haircuts For Homeless, and Sutton Night Watch, ensuring the vast majority of funds raised stay in the London area to support people facing homelessness this winter.
There will be various speakers throughout the evening on 21st November, including Kerri Douglas, author of “Gutter to Glory; from Pavements to Parliament”, talking about her experience of sleeping rough in the doorways of Westminster between the age of 13 to 27. Also speaking will be renowned photographer Lanre Olagoke who has frequently depicted the journey from homelessness to hope. Lanre founded the Art-Alive Arts Trust in 1997, helping thousands of children, adolescents and young adults find their place in society through art.
Since CEO Sleepout was founded in 2013, events have raised £3.2 million, with funds being donated to charities across the UK. CEO Sleepout has so far raised over £450,000 at the London events and organisers are hoping to reach £600,000 from this year’s contributions to support charities across the city.
To find out more about CEO Sleepout’s London event (sponsored by Warwick Business School) and to sign up or donate, visit: https://ceosleepoutuk.com/london/