CEOs sleep out in central London to raise awareness of youth homelessness for Action for Children charity

CEO’s all wrapped up warm in their sleeping bags ready for the night ahead

By Tamara Schofield

BUSINESS bosses slept on the cold pavement outside the London Stock Exchange to raise awareness about youth homelessness.

The CEOs spent the night on the street in sleeping bags after a study revealed 90 per cent of adults in Britain are in the dark about the extent of the problem, according to research commissioned by charity Action for Children.

About 80,000 young people find themselves homeless in the UK each year, and Action for Children’s CEO Sleep Out in London on March 24 helped to raise both funds and awareness of this shocking statistic.

A survey of more than 2,000 people that aimed to gauge awareness of attitudes towards youth homelessness across Britain revealed that 9 in ten respondents either underestimated or didn’t know the extent of youth homelessness.

The charity helps to keep youths aged between 16 and 25 off the streets by offering practical and emotional support to both them and their families.

People sleeping out on the night included Tim Griffin, former senior vice president and general manager of Dell EMC and the chairman of House of Fraser, Frank Slevin amongst others.

A location shot of where the CEOs will be spending the night

Action for Children’s newly appointed managing director Nick Jones is taking up the challenge of the CEO Sleep Out for the first time in Paternoster Square, in front of the London Stock Exchange.

Mr Jones, Action for Children’s managing director, said:  “We can’t keep ignoring the 80,000 young people facing the isolation and fear of homelessness.

“We know that the major cause of youth homelessness is relationship breakdown and in order to keep young people off the streets we need support services for families that step in early, before problems escalate to crisis.

“I hope that more business leaders will join the effort to do what’s right for children and young people.”

Richard Farleigh, former Dragons’ Den panellist, also attended the event and provided the CEOs with an emotional story of his own childhood.

Richard Farleigh delivering an emotional speech about his childhood in the care system

He said: “I grew up myself in the foster system in Australia, I was one of 11 children born in the outback and taken into care when I was very young.

“I firmly believe that Action for Children can really change people’s lives, education is very important, having a solid family is important and if I’d been left in the outback in Australia, God knows where I’d be.”

A grand total of £99,000 was raised on the night, which will enable Action for Children to continue their work in helping young people who are affected by homelessness.


                     How Action for Children works

“From before they are born until they are into their twenties, we help disadvantaged children across the UK.”

Action for Children helps children and young people through fostering or adoption, alongside intervening early to stop neglect and abuse.

They try to make life as comfortable and easy as possible for children with disabilities, through influencing policy and advocating for change.

They have 7,000 staff and volunteers operating in over 600 services-they improve the lives of 390,000 children, teenagers, parents and carers every year.

Action for Children succeed by “doing what’s right, doing what’s needed, and doing what works for children.”

For more information or to express your interest in joining next year’s event, visit or email If you’d like to donate, go to

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