Lord’s Cricket Ground, owned by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), played host to an event with a difference on 31 October when over 200 top business leaders slept outside to raise money and awareness for homelessness.
The biggest ever CEO Sleepout, also attended by celebrities from the sporting world and a number of MPs, raised over £180,000 for homelessness causes.
This was the first time the CEO Sleepout, organised by CEO Sleepout UK, was held at the Home of Cricket and the evening began with a reception and Q&A session held in the Long Room with former England Captains, Mike Gatting and Mike Brearley.
Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) chief executive, Derek Brewer and MCC head of sales, Nick Kenton were among the sleepers, along with England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive, Tom Harrison and ECB director of England Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor.
Former Arsenal, Tottenham and England defender Sol Campbell and his wife Fiona Barratt-Campbell also slept out alongside a 12-strong team from Fiona Barratt Interiors to raise money for their local charity the Cardinal Hume Centre.
Parliamentarians among the sleepers included London Conservative MPs David Burrowes and Stephen Hammond, and Conservative MP David Mackintosh who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group for Ending Homelessness.
The funds raised from the event benefited a number of homelessness charities including CEO Sleepout UK, Depaul, the Cardinal Hume Centre and YMCA North London.
Mike Gatting, 2014 MCC president and former England Captain, said: “This was a brilliant idea to raise funds and awareness for homelessness in the UK – and 200 VIPs sleeping out in the stands at the Home of Cricket was quite a sight!”
CEO Sleepout UK founder Andy Preston said: “This was undoubtedly the greatest and best CEO Sleepout we have ever done. The turnout was amazing, the venue is stunning and we are hoping fundraising records will be smashed.”
Sol Campbell added: “Nobody is pretending that one night sleeping outside is anything like being homeless. But we wanted to get involved to support the Cardinal Hume Centre and the other charities who do some amazing work to prevent homelessness. Every day in London we see people who are homeless and by being part of tonight’s event, we hope to shine the spotlight on the issue as well as raising some much-needed cash.”