Professionals from all sectors of industry, MPs and Peers will give up a night of comfort by sleeping out in the elements at London’s Kia Oval cricket ground on 10th October to help end homelessness.
Southwark-based homelessness charity Depaul is running its annual Sleepout to raise funds for its vital prevention services which ensure young people across the UK and abroad don’t end up sleeping on the streets.
London Deputy Mayor (Housing) James Murray backed Depaul Sleepout on behalf of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, saying: “We are very fortunate in London to have fantastic charities like Depaul, who provide immediate help to those facing the risk or reality of sleeping rough. I would like to convey the Mayor’s thanks to the many dedicated staff and volunteers who make possible the great work Depaul does for Londoners.”
He added: “Rough sleeping in London fell last year for the first time in a decade, but we have a moral duty to work together until no-one needs to sleep rough on the streets of London. That’s why the Mayor is doing all he can to help more rough sleepers – such as doubling the number outreach workers, and providing an extra £600,000 to boost winter night shelters – while making the case to national government that they should fully fund services and honestly tackle the root causes of homelessness.”
Depaul UK runs a number of youth homelessness services in London, including a day centre at Sherborne House, Southwark, which also serves as the base of Nightstop London, its emergency accommodation service, and Alone in London, a preventative advice and support service for young people at risk of homelessness.
Supported housing in Westminster, Bromley, Brent and Greenwich as well as prisons work for former offenders facing homelessness are also managed by Depaul from Sherborne House.
It is part of the Depaul International family of homelessness charities which also work in Croatia, Ireland, France, Slovakia, Ukraine and the US. Funds raised will help its work in London and across the UK as well as the work of Depaul International overseas.
Depaul UK CEO Mike Thiedke said: “Depaul Sleepout is a powerful event which changes perceptions about people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. It brings together London’s dynamic and caring business community who do so much to support our work in Britain and abroad.
“Giving up the comfort of your bed to help people who are marginalised and living in isolation is a humbling, valuable and memorable experience. I will be out there with my sleeping bag this year, and would urge all professionals to join us at this year’s Depaul Sleepout and help to end homelessness once and for all.”
Over the past four years, Depaul has persuaded chief executives, MPs and Peers to sleep out to raise funds for its work in prestigious venues – including Wembley Stadium, Lord’s Cricket Ground, and Somerset House.
The evening will include music from a young person supported by Depaul, a charity auction, soup dinner and a cash bar.
World Homeless Day educates people about homeless issues, celebrates and supports local good works, and highlights local homelessness issues.
To register for this year’s Sleepout, visit: https://uk.depaulcharity.org/depaul-sleepout-oval
Picture: File photo from 2007 showing shoppers passing by a homeless man. (Anna Gowthorpe/PA).