Dame Helen Mirren reads bedtime stories at Trafalgar Square charity sleepout

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Helen Mirren reads good night story at The World's Big Sleep Out 2019 , Trafalgar Square, London, UK

Approximately 2000 people braved a cold wet night in Trafalgar Square , London to help raise funds for charities that support the homeless whilst many more camped out in Scotland, Wales and indeed worldwide. By this morning, the total raised from this event had passed $10 Million.

Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt at The World’s Big Sleep Out 2019 , Trafalgar Square, London, UK

Celebrities were among the hundreds taking part in the World’s Big Sleep Out in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff, with Sir Chris Hoy, Giovanna Fletcher, Matt Willis along with BBC Breakfast’s Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt

Sir Chris Hoy sleeps rough at The World’s Big Sleep Out 2019 , Trafalgar Square, London, UK

Organisers were expecting more than 50,000 to take part globally, with other events in cities including New York, Brisbane and Dublin.

The initiative hopes to raise around £38m ($50m) for homelessness charities.

In London’s Trafalgar Square, those camping out faced a 2 hour drenching and temperatures of around 10 degrees – conditions which supporters said rough sleepers face every day.

Entertainment during the evening was supplied by Tom Walker, Jake Bugg, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man and Travis.

Rag N’ Bone Man performs at The World’s Big Sleep Out 2019 , Trafalgar Square, London, UK

Dame Helen Mirren rounded off the night reading first a poem and then a good night story .

Helen Mirren reads good night story at The World’s Big Sleep Out 2019 , Trafalgar Square, London, UK

Dame Helen Mirren said: “The turnout for The World’s Big Sleep Out in Trafalgar Square and across the world tonight was a phenomenal success; it was heartwarming to see so many people come together to highlight the global issue of homelessness. I was proud to play my part by telling a bedtime story before sleeping out myself.  I hope the event has shone the political spotlight on this issue and I urge people to continue to support the campaign by visiting bigsleepout.com to donate.”

Josh Littlejohn MBE , who camped out in the USA

Josh Littlejohn MBE, The World’s Big Sleep Out founder said “Having worked with homeless people for the last seven years, I know first-hand how invisible and forgotten people can feel. What the incredible 60,000 people who slept out all over the world have done tonight, is to shine the spotlight on this global issue and show that we care. I am truly blown away by the response to our campaign and sincerely grateful to every single person who has given up their beds tonight to raise the funds and awareness needed to make an impact. I hope that what happened in this campaign demonstrates a clear mandate for political action to tackle the homelessness crisis to whoever ends up in government in a few days time.”

Dame Louise Casey at The World’s Big Sleep Out 2019 , Trafalgar Square, London, UK

Dame Louise Casey DBE CB, Chair of The World’s Big Sleep Out Trust said“Just as the world feels, and is, so divided I’m proud that thousands of people have come together across the globe as one community united in our compassion and with empathy for our fellow human beings forced to be homeless. Thank you to everyone who has supported this campaign in any way. I am humbled and grateful. Always humanity is better when we stand together for the common good”. 

This global sleep out started in New Zealand so it is fitting that I repeat a Maori quote 

‘He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata’ ‘ What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people’. 

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