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Boris calls for volunteers to end homelessness on London streets

PUBLISHED: 18:01 24 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:17 05 October 2010

BORIS Johnson began an appeal today for volunteers to help tackle London's homeless crisis. He made his bid at an event by the Crisis and Housing Justice charities to launch a new London directory of volunteering

By Mike Brooke

BORIS Johnson began an appeal today for volunteers to help tackle London’s homeless crisis.

He made his bid at an event by the Crisis and Housing Justice charities to launch a new London directory of volunteering aimed at transforming the lives of those without a roof over their heads this Christmas and beyond.

“Volunteers have a crucial role to play helping to end homelessness,” the Mayor told the launch.

“They can make a difference, mentoring rough sleepers so they don’t return to the streets.”

Today’s appeal follows the Mayor’s commitment to end rough sleeping’ on the streets by 2012, when London plays host to the Olympics.

Research by the Crisis charity’s HQ at Whitechapel in London’s East End shows 10,000 volunteers contributed the equivalent of £3.7 million in time to help the homeless over the past two years.

Its chief executive Leslie Morphy said: “We rely on 10,000 volunteers every year at Christmas and throughout the year. They transform the lives of the homeless with dedication and generosity.”

The Housing Justice charity estimates volunteers in London’s winter shelters gave 70,000 hours of time, worth around £715,000 last year alone.

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