CEO Sleepout: ‘I was tricked into taking part, now I can’t wait to sleep out’

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Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan, right, with Cllr Darren Sanders and housing director James Hill, left Picture: Tom Cotterill

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WITH more than 70 business leaders signed up, the Pompey CEO Sleepout will see thousands of pounds raised for a trio of good causes.

But the road to the sponsored kip at Fratton Park on Monday night has not been the same for everyone – as LeadStream group operations manager Mike Parks knows well.

‘It was my colleague Adrian Maddock who signed me up – he likes to think he’s a bit of a joker,’ he said.

‘When I got the email to say my name was down to take part, it’s safe to say I was a bit shocked.

‘I was tricked into it I suppose, but now I can’t wait for the big night.’

Mr Parks oversees a team of 65 employees at LeadStream – a Whiteley-based life insurance firm.

And since getting on board with the Pompey CEO Sleep Out, it is those colleagues who have put him through the ringer in a bid to raise funds for the fixture’s beneficiaries.

Mr Parks, 37 from Waterlooville, said: ‘We recently held a charity day at the offices where people paid to throw sponges at me and pour buckets of water over my head.

‘It was very cold, but everyone had a great time getting behind the fundraising and we made £300.’

With just days remaining until he beds down in the name of charity, Mr Parks said the efforts he and scores of other leaders will commit to are a ‘small price to pay’.

He said: ‘I love fishing, I have done since I was a kid – so sleeping outside is not something too drastic for me.

‘But homelessness in and around Portsmouth is a massive problem and far too many people don’t have a choice in the matter.

‘If we can all get together and make a difference by spending just one night under the stars, then that’s a very small price to pay.’

To support Mike Parks’ personal Pompey CEO Sleepout fundraising effort, visit