A whole host of celebrities are set to join thousands of people sleeping out in 50 cities worldwide as part of a campaign to help fight homelessness.
The World’s Big Sleep Out aims to raise $50 million (£40 million) to tackle homelessness and will see 50 sleep outs worldwide, including events in London, New York, Edinburgh, Brighton, Newcastle, Cardiff, Dublin, Newport, Belfast, Chicago, Amsterdam, Manchester, Madrid and New Delhi.
Celebrities who will be taking part include Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, actors Dame Helen Mirren and Will Smith, model Lisa Snowdon, Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy, singer Jamelia, author Giovanna Fletcher, presenters Kate Garraway, Cherry Healey, Angela Scanlon and Anita Rani.
Dame Helen will read a story in London while Hollywood star Will Smith will tell a bedtime story in Times Square, New York.
Dame Helen said: “Homelessness on our streets is a real problem in the UK and for many nations throughout the world. This, coupled with an unprecedented number of refugees being displaced internationally, makes this a really important time to focus attention on the issue of homelessness.
“The World’s Big Sleep Out campaign will play an important role in shining the political spotlight on the issue while raising funds to make a big difference.”
“I’d like to encourage anyone who cares about this issue to get involved by sleeping out, in solidarity with those who have no choice, on 7th December.”
The World’s Big Sleep Out was spearheaded by Josh Littlejohn, who said he was “blown away” by the response so far.
“It doesn’t matter if you are taking part in Times Square or in your back garden with your family, by sleeping out for one night on 7th December we can simultaneously express our compassion for homeless people who have no other choice and raise lifesaving funds to make a difference,” he said.
“We can also send a message to the world’s political leaders that urgent action is required to address the human suffering that we each witness on our streets every day.”
A new charity called The World’s Big Sleep Out Trust has been established to govern the funds raised around the world.
Research by the Institute of Global Homelessness shows that there are more than 100 million people homeless and displaced around the world.
The event takes place on 7th December.
People are urged to register for an official event or sign up to ‘Host Your Own’ sleep out in their backyard, office car park, high school or university campus by visiting www.bigsleepout.com.
Picture: Celebrities (right to left) Will Smith, Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Chris Hoy will be taking part in The World’s Big Sleep Out. (PA).