Saturday, 20 April 2024
Saturday, 20 April 2024

Prince William features in homelessness appeal for Red Nose Day

Prince William features in homelessness appeal for Red Nose DayPRINCE William is helping to shine a light on the stark reality of homelessness in the UK, an issue that affects hundreds of thousands of people across the country.

Rough sleeping in England has risen by 26% in a year amid the spiralling cost-of-living crisis, and research shows the number of people estimated to be sleeping rough on a single night in autumn 2022 to be more than 3,000 – however this is thought to be the tip of the iceberg.

The sheer scale of the issue may be far greater as the number of people in temporary accommodation or considered to be ‘hidden homeless’ are not accounted for, including people staying with family and friends, sofa surfing or living in unsuitable housing such as squats or sheds.

Many people facing these extreme challenges feel overlooked by society.

This Red Nose Day, Prince William has spent time with Groundswell, a homelessness organisation funded by Comic Relief, for a special thought-provoking film which will be shown during the Red Nose Day night of TV tonight on BBC One and Player.

His Royal Highness is the Patron of two charities that work to tackle homelessness, Centrepoint and The Passage, and is committed to playing a role in the efforts to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurrent.

Groundswell supports people with direct experience of homelessness and provides opportunities for them to be part of creating solutions to help people move out of homelessness for good. Viewers will see Prince William meet Nawshin and Miles who know first-hand what life is like being homeless as they record a podcast as part of Groundswell’s Listen Up! Project. Together they share personal experiences, discuss harmful misconceptions and explore what more needs to be done.  Prince William also shares where his passion for tackling the issue stems from.

Speaking in the film, His Royal Highness said:

“My mother introduced me to the cause of homelessness from quite a young age, and I’m really glad she did. I think she would be disappointed that we are still no further on in terms of tackling homelessness and preventing it than when she was interested and involved in it.”

Miles said:

“Homelessness is about not having a safe space – it’s a very isolating life. You exist, you don’t live. Groundswell helps to give a voice to people who have experienced homelessness. People who experience homelessness have solutions if you just ask them – they know what needs changing.”

Nawshin said:

“I didn’t have a choice but to leave home – I had a lot of childhood trauma and circumstances happened around me that were out of my control. Coming to Groundswell and being supported to share my story has really helped me. It is powerful for people to actually listen.”

This Red Nose Day, money raised will help support people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and tackle issues such as homelessness, mental health, and food poverty here in the UK and around the world.

Samir Patel, CEO of Comic Relief said:

“We believe those who are closest to the issues have the best solutions and we’re proud to be supporting Groundswell’s important work to enable people facing such difficulties to not only be heard but be part of finding new ways to tackle homelessness. Our huge thanks go to Prince William, Nawshin and Miles for helping to raise awareness of this worsening issue and raise much-needed funds at such a crucial time.”

Comic Relief has supported homelessness projects since 1988, and over the past two years, Comic Relief’s funding has helped to support more than 31,000 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to access safe accommodation and specialist support.

Red Nose Day night of TV returns tonight, from 7pm on BBC One and iPlayer.

To support Comic Relief, you can donate online at comicrelief.com/donate.

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