CEO 'sleepout' creates jobs

CEO 'sleepout' creates jobs

A national fundraising phenomenon that started on Teesside saw 59 businessmen and women sleep on the streets of Middlesbrough to raise £40,000 towards a new not-for-profit restaurant that will give job opportunities to the long-term unemployed.

The CEO Sleepout, which took place on Victorian Street at Preston Park Museum, will donate proceeds towards funding the Fork in the Road restaurant, which will be based on Linthorpe Road in Middlesbrough.

The new eaterie will provide catering jobs for recovering addicts and alcoholics, those who have suffered from homelessness and ex-offenders.

Since it began in 2013, when businessman and charity leader Andy Preston organised the first sleepout at Middlesbrough FC’s Riverside Stadium, the charity has raised around £800,000 to fight homelessness and poverty around the country.

Martin Walker of Mantis Media and DNA PR & Publicity owner Dave Allan organised the Preston Park event before joining their fellow businesspeople on the sleepout, including Nigel Willis, managing director of Redcar’s First Choice Labels, Ian Stark, chief executive officer of Middlesbrough firm Chemoxy International, Fr Paul Farrer of Middlesbrough Youth Mission  and Duncan Bannatyne’s former wife, WattFitness owner Joanne McCue.

Allan said: “Between us we’ve raised £37,000 already with the money continuing to trickle in, so we’re confident we’ll top the £40,000 mark.

“I think it’s fantastic that Teesside has a business community that will band together to do achieve something extraordinary like that.”

Founder-chairman Andy Preston added: “We’ll be announcing more details about what promises to be a very special restaurant in the near future but this event has taken us another big step towards giving us the funding we need to achieve our aims.”