OCN London's chief executive Jacquie Mutter spent a night sleeping out in the open on the 12th October at London's Oval cricket ground. The initiative, called the CEO Sleepout, was started in December 2013 to raise money and increase awareness of the plight of the thousands of homeless people in London and other cities around the UK. Government reports show the number of rough sleepers in England is increasing every year with the highest rate in London (27% of the total).
Whilst sleeping bags were allowed, inflated bed rolls and home comforts were strictly taboo for the sleepout, which took place on the unforgiving concrete terraces rather than the highly protected grass pitch. Jacquie said, “No-one chooses to sleep rough and to have such a significant number of people sleeping on the streets and in doorways, many of whom are young adults, is shameful. At a time when there is an increasing number of high rise luxury apartments being built across our cities, we have to push for greater investment in affordable housing. Sleeping on the terraces was a sobering experience but it was just one night and I had the choice. There are many others that don’t.”
Find out more about the CEO sleepout initiative at www.ceosleepoutuk.com/