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Darlington business giants compete for top fundraiser status

The Darlington CEO Sleepout participants

CEO Sleepout Darlington saw two local businessmen compete in what became a ‘Clash of The Titans’ fundraising battle, which helped to raise £20,800 overall for local causes.

Justin Hutchens, CEO of HC-One and former managing director of Nifco, Mike Matthews MBE took part in a CEO sleepout to fight homelessness and have had an epic battle to be crowned ‘top fundraiser’.

On 17 October 2019, at Darlington Mowden Park RUFC, business leaders, gave up their warm beds to literally ‘sleep out’ in a bid to raise money for local charities helping in the fight against homelessness and poverty.

The event attracted senior level executives and business owners from the local business community to spend the night under the stars, experiencing a little of what those without homes go through every single night.

CEO Sleepout has partnered with local charities First Stop Darlington, and Mowden Community as well as national charity Walking With the Wounded for their work to house veterans who are experiencing homelessness locally.

Out of 48,737 Just Giving fundraisers in October, Mike Matthews was in the top 1% of fundraisers in England.

Since the charity was founded in 2013, CEO Sleepout events have been held at venues across the country, including at Wembley Stadium, St James’ Park Newcastle, Old Trafford cricket ground, The Alnwick Garden and Lord’s Cricket Ground. Its events have raised more than £2.2 million to date.

CEO Sleepout’s chief executive, Bianca Robinson, said:“In their tremendous efforts to raise the most money it became a ‘Clash of The Titans’ CEO Sleepout, Mike and Justin have channelled their competitiveness into an extremely good cause. They raised an incredible sum of money which will make a huge difference to the work of local charities in supporting those in Darlington who are most in need.

“CEO Sleepout intends to raise awareness and money to fight homelessness in Britain, but also to provoke thought amongst CEO’s and business leaders in a position to help make a change.”

Justin Hutchens, CEO of HC-One said: “As the CEO of HC-One, which prides itself on providing kind care to vulnerable elderly people, I am proud to have taken part in the CEO Sleepout initiative.

“Although the concrete was uncomfortable and the night very cold, I had the luxury of returning home the next day, while the growing number of homeless people in our society do not have that option.

“The fight against homelessness is a crucial one, which is why is it vital we support initiatives like the CEO Sleepout to raise funds and awareness of an issue that affects many across the UK.”

Mike Matthews, former Nifco Europe operations officer and managing director of Nifco UK, said: “It is vitally important that business executives take a leading role in fighting for social justice. In the modern world, homelessness remains all too prevalent and as a community business can do so much to effect change.”

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