CEO Sleepout

On November 9, 2023, I participated in the CEO Sleepout in Nottingham, a profound experience that aimed to address homelessness. My invitation came from Deborah Labatte, a cherished friend and supporter since the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey in 2011. With a big heart and a commitment to raising at least £1000, the CEO Sleepout united business leaders to combat homelessness.

Making a Difference: My CEO Sleepout Experience inNottingham

The event, hosted at Notts County Ground, supported three amazing local charities: Emmanuel House, The Notts Country Foundation, and The Friary, all dedicated to aiding those in need, whether facing homelessness or living in poverty.


Admittedly, the idea of sleeping outside in the cold made me nervous, and unsure of what to expect. Once there, the atmosphere was both moving and eye-opening. After setting up for the night, we had the privilege of listening to speakers from the charities, as well as lived-experience speakers Tracy and Patrick, who courageously shared their incredible stories.

Kerri Douglas, a volunteer for the night, authored the compelling book "Gutter to Glory: From Pavements To Parliament," detailing her journey. For those interested in a deeper understanding, supporting Kerri by purchasing her book is a great way to contribute.

The stories shared that night were both brutal and shocking, revealing the harsh realities faced by those experiencing homelessness. The vulnerability and mistreatment they endure, even from the public, left a lasting impact, bringing tears to my eyes.

As I lay on the cold, hard ground surrounded by people I knew, I couldn't help but reflect on the isolation and fear that others, particularly women, must feel when alone in such circumstances. It made me appreciate the warmth, support, and security that I often take for granted in my own life.

Despite the uncomfortable conditions and a symphony of snoring around me, I eventually found sleep. Waking up at 5 am to a loudhailer in my face (thanks Deborah!) marked the end of the night, and we were treated to bacon sandwiches and coffee, thanks to Scott from the Rapid Relief Team.

Exhausted but fulfilled, I headed home for a hot bath and a day of much-needed rest. Grateful for the generosity of those who donated, I was thrilled to discover that I ranked in the Top 10% of Fundraisers for the night, exceeding my target by raising £1347. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed, and donations can still be made HERE. Together, we've raised an incredible £46,000 to date, making a meaningful impact in the fight against homelessness.

"I just wanted to say thanks so far to you and your team! You're making this process a really positive one and stress free so far and I'm really grateful for all of your help!"

Shelley / Childrenswear Brand

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