Notts County will be hosting Nottingham’s CEO Sleepout for the second successive year.
Chairman and owner Alan Hardy will be joined by local business leaders, prominent community figures and charity workers in spending the night in a sleeping bag at Meadow Lane on 5 October.
Notts County Football in the Community are leading the project in partnership with the Trent Bridge Community Trust, with local homeless charities set to benefit from fundraising.
And Hardy is delighted the club will be supporting the initiative once more.
Speaking at the event’s launch, he said: “It’s difficult to believe that, in 2017, homelessness is still such a prevalent issue in our city.
“Nottingham is a thriving, prosperous and exciting place to live for the majority but, sadly, for some it is an unimaginable daily struggle.
“The CEO Sleepout is a wonderful initiative and I’ll be appealing to all my contacts in the local business community to get involved.
“Almost £50,000 was raised last year, a brilliant effort, and we’re confident of doing even better this time around.”
The chairman has his sleeping bag at the ready
FITC’s James Bromley added: “It was great to welcome a mix of personalities from businesses and communities throughout Nottingham to Meadow Lane.
“The enthusiasm for the event and cause was clear to see and now we're asking business leaders throughout the city to join us for the most unique networking event they’re ever likely to attend.
“We're delighted that so many individuals from last year have joined us again along with some new participants, including Alan, and we’re looking forward to raising lots of money in partnership with the Trent Bridge Community Trust.”
West Bridgford’s the Friary, a drop-in centre for homeless and unemployed people, and the Emmanuel House support centre on Goosegate, will be the project’s beneficiaries.
And representatives from both organisations are excited by the opportunities the CEO Sleepout will present.
Sam Crawford, from the Friary, said: “Any chance we have to raise the profile of issues relating to vulnerable people in Nottingham is very much welcomed by us. Notts County are providing the platform for that.
“It’s really good to have that buy-in from the club. It shows they are taking it seriously.”
Denis Tully, CEO of Emmanuel House, added: “The money is very, very important in making a difference to people who are sleeping rough.
“Last year, out of the 139 people who used our shelter, we got 77 into improved accommodation. We really are a ‘front door’ for people to access better care and support.”
Photos courtesy of the Nottingham Post