Tackling the issue of ‘hidden homelessness’ and youth poverty are the key drivers for the unique fundraising event to take place at Old Trafford next week.
The stadium sleepout is encouraging members of the public to bed down for one night under the iconic Munich Tunnel, to sample the hardship sadly encountered by vulnerable young people on the streets of Manchester every day – and increasingly so during the challenging winter months.
The work of Manchester United Foundation and Centrepoint is continuing to support vulnerable young people this winter. The two charities will be the beneficiaries of all funds raised by those taking part in the Old Trafford sleepout.
United pair Brandon Williams and Nathan Bishop recently visited Centrepoint’s hub in Manchester City Centre, where they met the charity’s staff to learn about the many challenges faced by young people experiencing homelessness.
Among the staff met by the Reds duo was Centrepoint’s rough sleepers co-ordinator, Clove Roberts-Hill, who explained the diverse range of ways in which young people come to access the charity’s service, particularly during the winter period.
“At Centrepoint, Manchester, we’re the first point of contact for any young person between 18 and 25,” she explained. “Many of our young people are sleeping on the streets when they first come to Centrepoint and do not have a stable place to call their home.
“It might not be safe for them to go home, [they may] come from homes where they have experienced trauma or abuse, they may be facing a night on the street in winter. It is our job to not only find them somewhere safe, but somewhere sustainable, and hopefully give them long-term solutions.
“This time of year is always particularly tough; we have seen an increase in young people presenting as homeless. It is so important that we have the resources to not only find young people who are on the streets or rough sleeping, but also helping those who are in hidden homelessness; maybe staying at friends’ houses, staying on a bus each night, and might not be seen by other services.”
Reds duo Brandon and Nathan were able to witness the charity’s crucial work as they toured the city centre hub.
"Centrepoint have got a whole bunch of teams who help [young people] with learning things like how to look after their home and bills and how to cook – it’s a great service to have,” Brandon said. “People deserve to have a chance at a normal life and not go through this stress and struggles, so it’s important that we give that help.”
To get involved in the Old Trafford sleepout, please click here.