On October 16th, ‘CEO Sleepout’ arranged for a number of prominent women from the worlds of business to sleep rough for one night. This was in order to fight poverty and homelessness in Manchester.
Business Intelligence Developer at Boohoo.com, Jenna Bowyer and Co-Founder of Rule 5, Julie Wilson, along with several other women are part of a group of more than 80 business leaders who signed up to sleep out at Old Trafford Cricket Ground in October.
Statistics from national homeless charity, Crisis, show that while the vast majority of rough sleepers are male. Life for women on the streets can be particularly hard. One in four women sleeping rough having been sexually assaulted in the past year. Three in ten women being the subject of sexual violence while homeless.Whilst another six in ten being intimidated or threatened with violence.
Since its conception in 2013 by philanthropist Andy Preston, CEO Sleepout has raised more than £1 million. Whilst thousands of executives have participated in its sleep-outs. In 2016, 87 Manchester business leaders raised £64,000 by sleeping rough with the scheme.
The funds in Manchester raised were distributed to local charities. Charities such as MASH, Mustard Tree, Lancashire County Cricket Club Foundation, The Booth Centre and The Church Urban Fund. With a pot of money made available for smaller groups. In addition to the distribution of funds to local charities, a proportion was used in CEOSleepout’s national campaign.
Andy Preston said: We’re really pleased to have a number of prominent women from the city that joined us for the sleepout. Who will all help to highlight the needs of women sleeping rough. This year we have had a great response from Manchester’s business community and other leading figures from the city’s civic life.
“Our priority as a charity is to raising awareness of the homeless crisis being seen in cities across the country. This can only be achieved through joint working, so we will continue to work with a range of partners that can affect change and tackling underlying causes of homelessness and prevent it before it occurs.”
Jenna Bowyer said: “The plight of homeless women, both here in Manchester and across the UK is a major issue. I’m glad to see the city’s business community coming together once again to tackle homelessness, the human cost of which is increasing daily.