ALMOST 200 representatives from local businesses will be bedding down under the stars at Bournemouth Sports Club as part of YMCA Bournemouth’s ‘Big Sleep Easy 2019’.

The event, to raise awareness of homelessness and fund projects to keep individuals safe from homelessness, raised £25,000 last year.

This year’s sponsored sleepout has already recruited over 120 fundraisers and over 40 local businesses are expected to enter a team.

Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) chief executive officer Ian Girling, part of the DCCI team taking part this year, said: "No one should be sleeping on the streets in the 21st century and in fact this problem seems to be getting worse.

"As a chamber we are really keen to back the great work of YMCA Bournemouth in providing support for people experiencing homelessness and we are really pleased to be taking part in the Bournemouth Big Sleep Easy.”

Meanwhile, Martin Stockley, senior operations manager at YMCA Bournemouth, said: “Dorset businesses clearly take social responsibility seriously, and we are particularly impressed by the number of DCCI members happy to give up a night in the warmth of their homes to support some of the most vulnerable people in their community.”

The sleep out is scheduled for November 16.