Brightstar boss Rob Jupp says that he has been “overwhelmed” by the industry’s immediate supportive response to his idea for a Mortgage Sleep Out with 40 firms committing to joining the initiative since he first tweeted about it on Tuesday.
The idea came about after Jupp had been struck by the number of rough sleepers both in London and Manchester while travelling up to meet Brightstar staff.
On his train journey back from Manchester on Tuesday Jupp tweeted his reflections on how the homelessness problem had worsened over recent years.
Atom Bank’s Maria Harris responded, suggesting Jupp participate in the CEO Sleepout initiative, which sees finance bosses spend a night on the streets to raise money for homelessness.
This prompted Jupp to put forward the idea for a wider mortgage industry sleepout in which companies could sign up staff from all levels of seniority rather than just management.
The #MortgageSleepOut hashtag quickly gained momentum with companies and individuals pledging their support.
Jupp has now set up a dedicated Twitter account @MortgageSleepOut which users can follow to find out details of the event as these unfold.
The date has not yet been confirmed, nor has it been decided exactly which homeless charities the sleep out should support.
Jupp says: “This wasn’t something that was planned, but rather a spontaneous response to my tweet and Maria’s mention of the CEO Sleepout.
“I think the homelessness issue is particularly relevant to those of us who are in the business of arranging mortgages.
“I’d like to see this evolve as lots of simultaneous sleepouts in different cities on the same night rather than one centralised event.
“It would have a dual function as we would be raising money but also highlighting the issue.
“For companies this could also be a great team-building experience for staff, which is meaningful rather than yet another expensive hospitality event.
“I’m sometimes of social media, but this is an example of how powerful and positive it can be when used in the right way – it can achieve amazing things.”
Jupp says he wants the event to take place in November or December in order to highlight the true plight of those who have to regularly sleep rough in winter weather.