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Network Homes CEO sleeps rough to raise money and awareness of homelessness

Helen Evans, Chief Executive of leading London based housing association Network Homes, took part in the CEO Sleepout charity event at Lord’s Cricket Ground on the night of Monday 31 October.

The event raises funds for and awareness of the realities of homelessness and poverty in the UK. Almost 200 London-based CEOs took part to raise money for the charity of their choice. Helen Evans’ sleepout has raised over £2,350 so far for the Cardinal Hume Centre, a hostel for street homeless people in Westminster, where we have over 1,000 properties.

Helen Evans said: “The issue of homelessness is close to my heart, and helping to tackle homelessness is a key part of what we do at Network Homes. My experience of a night in a safe cricket ground was not comparable with the discomfort and lack of safety so many people face on a daily basis, but it was enough to highlight just how difficult life is for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”

Cathy Come Home, the groundbreaking film which first brought homelessness to national attention, was broadcast 50 years ago this month. While valiant efforts have been made to resolve the issue over many years, homelessness is once again increasing. The number of families in temporary accommodation has risen 200% since 2009, and overall the problem of homelessness is worse now than in 1966.

As part of our fundraising efforts, we are also auctioning two bottles of Bollinger, signed by Absolutely Fabulous actress Joanna Lumley, who recently opened our new landmark development in Stockwell. The money raised will be donated to the Cardinal Hume Centre, a charity for homeless young people. The CEO Sleepout, the champagne auction, and events throughout the year form part of Network Homes’ ‘Giving Something Back’ corporate social responsibility strategy.

Andy Preston, Founder and Chairman of CEO Sleepout said: “CEO Sleepout requires executives to sacrifice a night of comfort in order to help others and raise awareness of homelessness.  I am very grateful to all our participants - but special thanks goes out to those who work in housing because their involvement and support is particularly poignant.”