Posted on 22 September 2023

The Principal and CEO of Leeds College of Building has joined a growing list of senior managers taking part in CEO Sleepout.

Nikki Davis will be sleeping under the stars to fundraise a target of £1,000 for Staying Put - a domestic abuse and sexual violence charity working across the Bradford area. Almost 32% of homeless women say domestic abuse contributed to their homelessness.

CEO Sleepout Leeds will take place at LUFC’s Elland Road on Thursday, 19 October, from 8 pm – 6.30 am. The event is open to business leaders, owners, c-suite execs, directors, and teams who will unite together to experience sleeping rough to fight poverty and homelessness in the UK.

Nikki will join senior managers from Staying Put and sleep on a concrete concourse on the East Stand. Average temperatures for October at night will be 6 degrees Celsius, although the team will have sleeping bags and pillows.

The funds raised will be spent on refuges, making the spaces as welcoming and as comfortable as possible to ensure that when someone leaves abuse, they feel safe and able to recover from trauma.

“Domestic abuse is a leading cause of homelessness in this country. For women, it is ‘the’ leading cause of homelessness," explains Yasmin Khan, CEO of Staying Put. “Although recent legislation has been developed to give survivors of domestic abuse priority access to housing, the demand for social housing far outweighs supply."

Nikki is the only senior manager from the Further Education sector currently registered to participate in the Leeds CEO Sleepout.

Nikki said:

“Homelessness is increasing and far more nuanced than we realised. The reasons for homelessness are complex, and sadly the support networks for people of all ages are not fully accessible. Personally, I hear more stories of students who might be sofa surfing or are made homeless quickly, and it’s such a difficult position for them to manage.

“As a college, we do all we can to help individual students, and by taking part in this event, I hope to raise funds and awareness of the link between domestic abuse and homelessness.”

Over half of domestic abuse victims need support to help them stay in their own home or move to new accommodation. The number of people recorded as homeless in the national statistics as a result of domestic abuse rose 24% in England in the nine-month period from July 2021 to March 2022, compared with the same period the previous year.

Donate to Nikki’s CEO Sleepout Just Giving page here.