A charity initiative has teamed up with an international fast-food chain to raise awareness of the importance of a place to call home.

CEO Sleepout, which has been running events in aid of homelessness for the past eight years, has launched a partnership with the Ronald McDonald House Charity, which provides free family accommodation close to children’s hospitals.

The partnership was the brainchild of CEO Sleepout chief executive Bianca Robinson and Dean Fitzmaurice, who runs two McDonald’s franchises in Middlesbrough. A McSleepout event will be held in Harrogate in May to raise money for the cause.

Bianca said: “McDonald’s demonstrates a very strong desire to create community impact and add social value through their business activities.

“We are partnering with the Ronald McDonald House Charity to highlight their work keeping families together in times of medical crisis. It is hoped that the event will unlock understanding and compassion among employees that will stay with them as they progress through their careers with McDonald’s.”

The Big McSleepout is open to all McDonald’s employees and participants will spend the night outdoors at Harrogate Rugby RUFC to learn more about the issues surrounding homelessness and the importance of keeping families together in times of need.

Dean said: “Our restaurants are all around the cities and towns of the UK, and each one has its own challenges with homelessness. We do what we can at a local level, however, by partnering with CEO Sleepout, we can improve our reach and awareness within our communities.

“Ronald McDonald House Charity is its own charity and very close to every McDonald’s employee, contractor or supplier’s heart. Just £25 could enable the charity to provide free accommodation for a family for one night who are just trying to be close to their child.”

On average, families who stay in a Ronald McDonald House live more than 70 miles from the hospital their child is being treated in. More than 50,000 families have benefitted from a Ronald McDonald House since 1989 and with the current 12 houses and 425 rooms available, around 6,000 families could be accommodated in a year.

The Big McSleepout takes place on Thursday, May 26th, at Harrogate RUFC, in Rudding Lane. For more information, visit ceosleepoutuk.com/.