Obakin has since slept rough “eight or nine times” since taking over as chief executive of homeless charity Centrepoint in early 2009, and last night the awareness-raising efforts continued with this year’s Sleep Out event in Exchange Square, which aims to raise “at least” £250,000 for the Home for Christmas campaign.
Conditions were more controlled for the City professionals who exchanged their central-heated homes for a night on the cold concrete of Liverpool Street, with a mobile kitchen run by a squadron from RAF Wittering, a song from X Factor finalist Rebecca Ferguson and sleeping bags resembling giant Jiffy bags.
“This is only a tiny taste of what it must be like to sleep rough night after night, said Drivas Jonas Deloitte partner Jon Milward, a patron of Centrepoint. “But at least it gives people a flavour of what it must be like for young people on the streets.”
Milward, who slept out following a day of back-to-back client meetings – “at least I will sleep well” – was last night joined by 600 others including bankers from Credit Agricole, lawyers from Herbert Smith and housebuilders from Taylor Wimpey. Not to mention TV presenters Richard Madeley of Richard & Judy and Rav Wilding of Crimewatch, who as The Capitalist left them to it at 10.30pm were being read a bedtime story by Christopher Biggins. “Once upon a time,” began the media personality, as the no-tent city started to drift off…