A national initiative, which aims to raise awareness and vital funds to support people who are homeless, is returning to The Alnwick Garden for its sixth sleepout in Northumberland.

The sleepout will be the first event to be held in the brand-new attraction, Lilidorei, which is a magical and enchanted village in The Alnwick Garden. In another twist to the event, organisers have opened the sleepout to not only business leaders and executives but to the public too. They are hoping people from the local area will come together to raise £20,000 to support those who are or at risk of homelessness.

Chief executive of CEO Sleepout Bianca Robinson said: “People from Northumberland have the opportunity to play a role in strengthening the fabric of our society and supporting those who are vulnerable.

Speaking of the sleepout, Bianca added: “I can’t promise a good night’s sleep, what I can promise is an unforgettable night in a magical setting that will unlock compassion within you to help and consider your future actions.”

Lilidorei is part of The Alnwick Garden Trust and exists to enable the charity to further its valuable community and education work, including offering free school visits for primary and first schools in Northumberland.

Ian McAllister, the strategic head of marketing and communications at The Alnwick Garden, said: “Lilidorei is not only a brand-new attraction but plays host to nine clans, none of which have been seen by the human eye in daylight before, but come night-time, anything could happen.”

“Our team are looking forward to the sleepout, many of whom will be experiencing it for the first time, to raise both funds and awareness of this important cause.”

Ian took part in the 2018 event and said he left the sleepout with a refreshed passion to do whatever he could to raise awareness of the issues faced by those sleeping rough.

Urging people to sign up for this event, Ian added: “The sleepout is not only a great challenge, but the camaraderie from all participants, the talks from the guests and the conversations throughout the night are enlightening.”

The funds raised from this event will support charities that are on the frontline helping and reducing the levels of homelessness across its area. This year, CEO Sleepout will support Barnabas Safe and Sound, Northumberland Citizens Advice, The Alnwick Garden Trust and Walking With The Wounded.

Since 2001, Morpeth-based Barnabas Safe and Sound have safely accommodated over 300 young people. The team provide a range of services to support young people on their journey to adulthood in the heart of the local community.

Gill Monaghan, the communications and finance lead at Barnabas Safe and Sound, says: “We believe all young people should be embraced by their local community, so they can appreciate where they fit in society and value their own self-worth.

Speaking of her delight at being chosen as one of the charities to benefit from the funds raised at this CEO Sleepout event, Gill added: “At a time when funding for essential support services has been cut, the funds will help us to demonstrate real community support and builds relationships with our local, big-hearted businesses and colleagues.

To sign up for this special sleepout, visit ceosleepout.co.uk/alnwick