On 31st October 2016, Savoo MD Simon Bird swapped his briefcase for a sleeping bag for one night to help raise money for homelessness charity, CEO Sleepout.
CEO Sleepout is a UK charity set up to fight homelessness and poverty, and their work is funded purely by the money raised by well-connected chief executives choosing to take part in sleep out challenges around the country.
We’re proud to say that our very own CEO, Simon Bird, jumped at the chance to help out for such a worthwhile cause, and has so far raised an incredible £1,150 ahead of his Sleepout at the famous Lords Cricket Ground in London.
Simon’s CEO Sleepout London
On the morning of Monday 31st October, a scary thought occurred to Simon.
There’d be no cosy bed to climb into tonight. Would he be fed a hot dinner? Not sure. There’d certainly be no TV to help him decompress after a long Monday at work.
Simon wrapped up as warm as he could and packed up his sleeping mat, sleeping bag and an extra couple of jumpers and headed out into the cold to prepare for a night on the streets.
Forget trick or treating; this Halloween, Simon was sleeping rough and he was certainly feeling trepidatious about the whole experience.
Arriving at Lords Cricket Ground
Simon arrived at Lords and was warmly welcomed by the CEO Sleepout team and introduced to the evening programme.
After a cursory tour of the pavilion, the CEO sleepers were treated to hot pumpkin soup and bread rolls before settling down in the incredible Long Room for a wonderful welcome speech from Andy Preston – founder of CEO Sleepout – and presentations from previous England cricket captains Mike Gatting and Mike Brearley.
After the speeches, all sleepers were invited to join in batting and bowling games, and enjoy a few drinks before bedding down.
Hitting the sack
At 23:00, it was time to brave the elements and prepare for bed time.
The sleepers – including Savoo CEO Simon – made their way to the Mount Stand, and found themselves somewhere to sleep.
“It was around 9 degrees which feels colder than it sounds. But we were actually quite lucky it wasn’t colder. I can’t imagine what it would be like to sleep rough throughout the harshest weather from December through to February.”
The chairs were wet from the condensation and cold, so Simon bedded down in between the seats and against a concrete pillar which ended up acting as a pillow prop!
Mattresses were a long lost luxury for these CEO’s as they lay cardboard down on the cold floor and then layered sleeping bags on top.
“It was absolutely freezing and I woke up regularly throughout the night. It soon dawned on me how we all take such basic things as comfortable beds and warmth for granted, and I can honestly say I’ve developed a newfound appreciation for what homeless people go through every day and night.”
After a long, cold, rough night, the (barely) sleeping CEO’s were woken at 5:30 for a light breakfast in the warmth before heading their separate ways – each taking with them just a snapshot of what life as a homeless person is really like thanks to this humbling experience.
Well done Simon
You can still show your support for CEO Sleepout and it would mean a lot to our CEO Simon if you could make a contribution of any size to help us help end homelessness. Donate at Just Giving Simon Savoo if you’d like to help put a stop to homelessness, or visit ceosleepoutuk.com if you’d like to nominate a CEO or get involved yourself.