Runners take it lying down to raise profile of London’s rough sleepers

Campaigners for the homeless took it lying down when they when they demonstrated the plight of London’s rough sleepers.

Some 2,000 supporters of Crisis, the charity for single homeless people, laid down in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral to draw attention before yesterday’s 19th annual ‘Crisis Square Mile’ fundraiser to highlight the plight of people sleeping on the streets.

The homeless are being overlooked by local authorities, according to the charity—despite Mayor Boris Johnson’s commitment to end rough sleeping by the end of 2012.

The charity’s chief executive Leslie Morphy said: “It is a scandal that homeless people are not getting the help they need and are left with no option but to sleep on the streets.

“Seeing our 2,000 runners lay down in the shadow of St Paul’s really drives home the scale of the problem.”

But the number of runners lying down represented just two thirds of the 3,500 people who were counted sleeping rough in London last year.

The runners then set off from the cathedral, seen off by BBC radio presenter Caroline Barker, to raise �180,000 and awareness for the national charity, which based at Whitechapel in London’s East End.