Our Director of Communications Jayne Parsley-Walsh last night joined over 100 North East executives who slept pitch side at St James Park in aid of CEO Sleepout, a charity set up to fight homelessness and poverty. She shares her story:
We arrived at 7:45pm, where we were briefed about the evening ahead. We heard first hand from Matty, who works for the charity Changing Lives and has turned his life around from a life of addiction and crime. He has since completed a university degree and is now working at Changing Lives to help others. Matty’s story really drove home the good this event would bring — by sacrificing just one night’s sleep, we can raise important funds to help change so many people’s lives.
After a quick tour of the stadium, including a peek into the players’ dressing room, cardboard was handed out for us to sleep on and we headed outside to find our bed for the night. Those who had took part in the CEO Sleepout before were privy to the best spots and they were quickly taken up.
The excitement of the evening started to drop as the temperature did. Many were tucked up by 11pm, while others networked into the small hours. Walking around the stadium in the early hours, you were greeted by a chorus of snores from multiple levels — and of course the 3am seagull song!
By 5:30am, everyone was awake and given a cup of tea to warm up. So far, the night has raised over £76,000 and is expected to reach over £85,000.
I was extremely proud to represent Mediaworks at the CEO Sleepout. On the run up to the event, I attended the Changing Lives’ Rough Sleeper Outreach morning, which really brought home the daily struggle people face and the fantastic work Changing lives and the Newcastle United Foundation do.
I didn’t manage to get any sleep during the evening. It was an extremely humbling experience and I am incredibly happy to say that I raised over £600 for such a worthwhile cause. We may have lost one night’s sleep but in doing so, we have hopefully helped change the lives of many people in the North East.