Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert slept out at London’s Kia Oval cricket ground in support of homelessness charity Depaul.
Mr Herbert joined a number of Arundel residents, including former Mayor Michael Tu, and Chichester MP Gillian Keegan, in the charity’s annual Sleepout on World Homeless Day to raise funds and awareness for Depaul’s vital prevention services which ensure young people don’t end up sleeping on the streets.
Mr Herbert said: “I think this is an incredibly important issue. Homelessness is of growing concern and it is important to draw attention to it.
“I was particularly keen to support Depaul on World Homeless Day and I know what brilliant work the charity does both in the UK and internationally.
“We need more affordable housing and to ensure that everyone can have a roof over their head and, in this day and age, it is wrong that this is not the currently the case.”
Over the past four years, Depaul has persuaded chief executives, MPs and Peers to sleep out to raise funds for its work. Previous Sleepout venues have included Wembley Stadium, Lord’s Cricket Ground, and Somerset House. The Sleepout evening included two performances by singer J Cocoa, a young person supported by Depaul.
A charity auction was held to bid for cardboard boxes in which to sleep for the night, and a soup dinner was provided. World Homeless Day educates people about homeless issues, supports local good work and highlights local homelessness issues.
Depaul UK supports more than 3,700 young people a year. Its services help homeless young people at every stage of their journey, from immediate emergency accommodation through the Nightstop UK network to longer-term supported housing and pathways to training and employment. The Patron of Depaul International is The Duchess of Norfolk.
Depaul UK CEO Mike Thiedke said: “Depaul Sleepout is a powerful event which changes perceptions about people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Giving up the comfort of your bed to help people who are marginalised and living in isolation is a humbling, valuable and memorable experience.
“We’re very grateful to Nick Herbert for taking part in Depaul Sleepout and helping us to end homelessness once and for all.”