Celebrities including sporting legend Rio Ferdinand, Hollyoaks’ Kieron Richardson, I’m A Celeb star Jorgie Porter and singer Rita Ora are the latest famous names tojoin a growing army of supporters who are calling on the nation to join Sleep Walk for Shelter – a 10k walk to support the 78 families becoming homeless every day.
The event, created by the leading housing and homelessness charity Shelter, is back for a second year and will bring Londoners and Mancunians together on the evenings of Tuesday 3 rd and Wednesday 11th December for a night time walk through each city. The actors and entertainers join a group of celebrity supporters including presenter Edith Bowman, Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts, Lioness Fara Williams, Spice Girl Melanie C and reality star Lydia Bright who are rallying the nation to sign up to Sleep Walk to Shelter.
According to the latest government figures, in the last year a household becomes homeless every 4 minutes in England. Homelessness is continuing to rise in England, with the number of homeless households living in temporary accommodation in England having increased by more than 4,000 since last year.
The findings also suggest that a new generation of young people and families are being hit by the housing emergency, with 56,440 people aged 16-24 becoming homeless or being threatened with homelessness in the last year.
Sleep Walk for Shelter provides an alternative Christmas night out for friends and families, giving Londoners and Mancunians of all abilities the opportunity to brave the winter conditions and walk 10k across their cities to raise much needed funds to help fight the growing crisis. This year, supporters outside of London and Manchester also have the opportunity to organise their own Sleep Walk events in their towns and cities.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, comments:
“The housing emergency is only getting worse, and we are seeing more and more families pushed into homelessness. The miserable reality for many includes living in grim emergency accommodation with their children, and for some it means being forced to sleep on the street.
“Our services and advice are more in demand than ever, and with the public’s support we can provide families with the help they need to get to a better place.”
Lioness Fara Williams added:
“Having experienced homelessness myself in the past I know how important it is for services like Shelter to be able to support those who are in crisis. I can’t wait to see Londoners come together to Sleep Walk for the charity. By signing up to Sleep Walk you will be making a huge difference to the people who need it this Christmas.”
This year’s Sleep Walk events are taking place in London on Tuesday 3rd December and in Manchester on Wednesday 11th December. Each participant is asked to raise at least £80. To sign up or for more information visit shelter.org.uk/sleepwalk for London or Shelter.org.uk/sleepwalkmanc for Manchester.