MK College hosts CEO Sleep Out which raises over £50,000 so far for local charities
On 16th November, Milton Keynes College proudly hosted the CEO Sleep Out MK at its Bletchley campus. Over 50 members of the local business community took part, sleeping outside overnight to raise awareness of the challenges faced by those experiencing homelessness and hardship in Milton Keynes, and to raise money for charities doing vital work to support struggling communities.
The event has raised over £50,000 to date for four charities: YMCA MK, Milton Keynes Food Bank, St Mark’s Meals MK and the Bus Shelter Milton Keynes. Three colleagues from Milton Keynes College Group took part in the event – including CEO and Group Principal Sally Alexander. The team have raised over £1,900 so far for St Mark’s Meals MK, an incredible charity which provides dinner kit boxes to schools and children’s centres all across the city so that any teacher can give a Meals box to a child when they see that they are going hungry.
CEO Sleepout is a national charity set up to inspire the business community to unite to fight homelessness and hardship; raising money for frontline services, helping to change lives. Having launched in 2013, CEO Sleepout has raised almost £4m for charities and good causes trying to tackle Britain’s worsening homelessness and hardship problems.
The Milton Keynes event included a panel discussion with representatives from the four charities involved, covering topics including the support their charities provide to those in Milton Keynes facing homelessness and hardship, how the need for their services has increased since the start of the cost-of-living-crisis and how the local business community can support the vital work they do.
Sally Alexander, CEO and Group Principal of Milton Keynes College Group, commented: “When we were first approached by the CEO Sleep Out team who were looking for a venue for their Milton Keynes event this year, we were delighted to be able to step up and host our local business community for this important initiative. At Milton Keynes College, we see the challenges that our local communities face every day, and we want to do everything we can to help the amazing charities that provide much-needed support in our city.
“Sleeping out on a cold – and occasionally rainy – November night highlighted so many challenges with sleeping rough. However, it also made me acutely aware of all the challenges that I wouldn’t have to face – I was in a safe environment, I had access to food and hot drinks and in the morning, I was able to go home. It’s so important that everyone in Milton Keynes is aware that so many people are facing hardship and homelessness and that the amazing charities who are tackling these issues need our help.
“It is fantastic to hear that the event raised over £50,000 so far for four local charities, and that my colleagues and I have so far raised nearly £2,000 of that for St Mark’s Meals. I’d like to say a huge thank you to the team from CEO Sleep Out, my colleagues at the College who took part and helped to make the event happen, the MK business community who came out in force to support the event and the charity representatives who gave us such powerful insights into the experiences of those struggling. At Milton Keynes College Group, we’re committed to our mission to Build Fairer Futures and will continue to look for ways to support the various communities in our city.”
Bianca Robinson, CEO at CEO Sleep Out, commented: “It’s great to bring CEO Sleepout back to Milton Keynes, which has already proved itself as one of the UK’s most compassionate cities. The business community really pulled together for the cause, which is more important than ever. We can’t unsee what’s happening to people just like us – who are forced out of their homes and in some cases, onto the streets. Since 2013, CEO Sleepout has raised over £4.2 million via CEO Sleepout events alone, with only one full-time employee. So I want to say a huge thank you to each and every person who showed up on 16th November, and to all their generous supporters. Together we’ve made a difference to the incredible charities working so hard to change lives day after day”.
You can still sponsor the team from MK College Group here.