A SIGNED Brazil shirt has been presented to a North-East business leader who was top fundraiser in the UK’s first CEO Sleepout.
Wilton Group chief executive officer Bill Scott raised £4,500 for homelessness causes when taking part in the CEO Sleepout outside Middlesbrough FC’s Riverside Stadium.
He was presented with the Brazil shirt – kindly donated by Middlesbrough FC – by Onyx Group director Alastair Waite, who was the event’s second biggest fundraiser with a total of £3,740.
More than 30 Teesside business leaders swapped their comfy beds for a night sleeping rough in the fundraising first, organised by Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.
Businessmen and women braved the cold to raise awareness and funds to fight a problem that has made Teesside the North-East’s homelessness black spot.
Armed only with sleeping bags and several layers of clothing, the business leaders had access to just hot drinks and toilets.
Combined with the Big Tees Sleepout that took place on the same night at Middlesbrough College, a total of £37,000 was raised.
The funds have helped the Foundation launch Middlesbrough Homeless Football Club, the North-East’s first club of its kind, while further donations have been made to Night Stop North East, a youth homelessness charity run by DePaul UK.
Bill Scott, who also raised £10,000 for the Philanthropic Foundation when taking part in last year’s Great North Run, said: “The sleepout was a humbling experience. It was extremely tough going and very, very cold.
“However, we had a hot bath and a comfortable bed to look forward to when we got home, but those who are unfortunate enough to be homeless have none of those things that the rest of us take for granted.
“I have to thank all the people who made such generous donations because my efforts would have been in vain without their support.”
Alistair added: “We were a group of people who shared a common goal of raising as much money as possible. It was a cold and sleepless night but we had safety in numbers, but sleeping out alone must leave you feeling very vulnerable.”
The Foundation is now organising a Tyneside version of the event on Thursday, October 17 as a step towards taking the CEO Sleepout concept onto a national stage.
Spaces are available for a maximum of 50 people for the event, which will take place pitchside at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park. For more details, visit www.ceosleepoutuk.com