Will Smith, Dame Helen Mirren and Chris Martin show their support for The World’s Big Sleep Out by starring in a new video urging people to sign up and take part.
In the video, Will Smith reflects on what home means to him saying that it is “the place where my family comes together” before drawing attention to the issue of 100 million people around the world who don’t have a place to call home.
The number of homeless people dying on the streets is at record levels with on average two people dying each week in the UK. In England alone the number of people sleeping rough has increased by more than 150% since 2010. Last year, an estimated 4,677 people were sleeping on the streets on any one night and, shockingly, there are 125,000 children in England without a place to call home.
The amount of people seen sleeping rough in London across a minimum of two consecutive years has more than doubled since 2008/9, increasing by 131% to 2,080. Of those people, most have been in care, prison or armed forces. Action is urgently needed.
On Saturday 7th December, the world will unite to help fight homelessness in what is thought to be the largest charitable fundraising campaign in a generation. With the aim of raising $50million (£40million), The World’s Big Sleep Out, spearheaded by Josh Littlejohn MBE, founder of social enterprise Social Bite, will take place in 50 locations around the world.
Will Smith and Dame Helen Mirren will lead the way by telling a bedtime story in Times Square (New York) and Trafalgar Square (London) respectively.
Cities and towns confirmed to be taking part include: London (Trafalgar Square and The Oval), New York (Times Square), Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Chicago, Cardiff, Newcastle, Newport, Brighton, Manchester, Los Angeles, New Delhi, Santiago, Madrid, Brisbane, Manila, Wacken, Mumbai, Hong Kong, San Jose (Costa Rica), and Singapore
People are urged to register for an official event or sign up to “Host Your Own” sleep out in a backyard, office car park, high school, university campus or elsewhere by visiting www.bigsleepout.com.
Registration is now open with each participant committing to fundraising as much as they can. 100% of funds raised will go towards homelessness charities, with a 50/50 split between local and global charities helping homeless and displaced people.
It is hoped that an estimated 50,000 participants will collectively achieve a fundraising target of $50million (£40million) which will be invested to sustainably help around 1,000,000 homeless and displaced people all over the world. As well as benefiting local charities, international partners for the campaign include UNICEF USA, Malala Fund and the Institute of Global Homelessness.