Duchess of Northumberland highlights homelessness issue ahead of business leaders' Sleepout at The Alnwick Garden

The Duchess of Northumberland is helping to raise awareness of rural homelessness ahead of a sleepout at The Alnwick Garden.

Monday, 11th November 2019, 12:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 9:06 am
The Alnwick Garden Trust have partnered with CEO Sleepout and regional charities for the event.

Entrepreneurs, business and community leaders in Northumberland are taking part in this year’s CEO Sleepout on Monday, November 18, including two homeless outreach officers.

For the fourth year in a row The Alnwick Garden Trust are to partner with CEO Sleepout and regional charities including Changing Lives and Walking With The Wounded for this year’s event.

Rural homelessness goes widely unnoticed, unlike homelessness that’s visible on street corners in cities.

The Alnwick Garden. Picture by Graeme Peacock.

Rough sleeping is just the tip of the iceberg, for every two people found sleeping rough, there are another 99 homeless people hidden out of sight, particularly amongst the young.

Jane Percy, The Duchess of Northumberland, said: “There is a real homelessness issue in rural Northumberland and as beautiful as our county is, it also means that it widely goes unnoticed.

“We are known around the world for the Poison Garden here at The Alnwick Garden, championing drug awareness and associated programmes in the region’s schools and communities. For some that are homeless addiction to drugs can go hand in hand.

“Our programmes start at school level, but peer pressure, social injustice, family break-ups, bullying and mental issues can implode and lead to isolation, drug abuse and homelessness.”

Director of The Alnwick Garden, Mark Brassell, added: “For those that have no choice to but sleep rough then the physical and emotional discomfort is unimaginable.

“We hope that everyone reading this and particularly the Northumberland business community will sign up and sleep out to help this winter.”

CEO Sleepout’s chief executive, Bianca Robinson, said: “Although it’s only for one night, and doesn’t come close to what homeless people experience night after night, CEO Sleepout is intended to raise

awareness and money to fight rural homelessness and poverty, but also to remind all of us in business about our social responsibility and that we have the power to make a stand against inequality.

“We want to challenge the Northumberland business community to show their generosity and get involved.”

To find out more or to sign up for the CEO Sleepout at The Alnwick Garden log on to www.ceosleepoutuk.com/northumberland/