Brooke Kinsella helps Centrepoint’s Canary Wharf ‘sleep out’ for homeless youngsters

PUBLISHED: 15:44 12 November 2015 | UPDATED: 15:44 12 November 2015

Annual Centreepoint 'Sleep Out' at West India Quay which has raised £20,000 so far since 2012 [photo Brendan O'Sullivan]

Annual Centreepoint 'Sleep Out' at West India Quay which has raised £20,000 so far since 2012 [photo Brendan O'Sullivan]

Brendan O'Sullivan

Youngsters sleeping rough are getting help this Christmas from 11 fundraisers staged tonight with hundreds volunteers swapping their home comforts to sleep out in the open.

TV’s former EastEnders stars Brooke Kinsella and Louisa Lytton are hosting entertainment for the volunteers at one of the sleep outs at Canary Wharf in London’s Docklands.

On the street... rough sleeper portrayed by model Andrew [photo: Sam Mellish]On the street... rough sleeper portrayed by model Andrew [photo: Sam Mellish]

They are lending their support at West India Quay for the Centrepoint homeless youth charity.

The volunteers plan to sleep rough themselves to raise funds and to see what it’s really like without a roof over your head.

Another ‘sleep out’ is at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, in the heart Spitalfields which has been a magnate for London’s homeless over the years.

“It’s scandalous that the number of young people exposed to biting cold weather, damp and constant fear has doubled in the last four years,” Centrepoint’s Richard Utting said.

“Volunteers are helping to give vulnerable youngsters the chance to turn their lives around by trading their warm bed for just one evening out in the cold.

“It helps them experience just a small taste of what too many youngsters still go through every night.”

Big businesses in Canary Wharf raised £70,000 between them for the charity at last year’s Sleep Out at West India Quay. Many have pledged support for tonight’s event, including Barclays, Whole Foods, Financial Conduct Authority and Skadden.

Staff at Ogilvy & Mather brand design consultants are even taking part themselves, among them its chief executive Annette King.

Brooke Kinsella will be chatting to them as they tuck themselves up for the night in sleeping bags. Last year’s event was hosted by Downton Abbey’s Allen Leech and TV sports presenter Charlie Webster.

Centrepoint estimates 15,000 young people will face homelessness this Christmas and needs the public’s support to give them a safe place to stay and a chance to turn their lives around in the New Year.

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