Posted on Monday, September 23, 2019
Dame Helen Mirren is among the celebrities pledging to sleep outdoors for a night in December to raise awareness of global homelessness through the World’s Big Sleep Out campaign. The legendary actor has promised to read a bedtime story to anyone joining the mass sleep out in Trafalgar Square on 7 December.
The London Big Sleep Out event is one of several happening worldwide – from Newcastle to New Delhi via New York. Actor Will Smith will take part in the US event, reading a story to those sleeping out in Times Square.
People everywhere are being urged to set up local event of their own, in office carparks and school or university grounds. Alternatively, participants can choose to sleep out in their back gardens in support. Globally, the project aims to raise £40 million to help the 100 million people estimated to be homeless, worldwide.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, model Lisa Snowdon, Olympian Sir Chris Hoy and singer Jamelia will also be taking part in the London event.
Dame Helen said: “Homelessness on our streets is a real problem in the UK and for many nations throughout the world.
“The World’s Big Sleep Out campaign will play an important role in shining the political spotlight on the issues of homelessness and displacement, whilst raising considerable funds to make a big difference.”
Behind the World’s Big Sleep Out is entrepreneur Josh Littlejohn MBE who co-founded the social enterprise, Social Bite, which tackles homelessness in Scotland.
“It doesn’t matter if you are taking part in Times Square or in your back garden with your family, by sleeping out for one night on December 7 we can simultaneously express our compassion for homeless people who have no other choice and raise lifesaving funds to make a difference,” he said.