Londoners brave cold to help tackle poverty and homelessness

Adventurous Londoners are being urged to grab a sleeping bag, brave the cold and spend a night sleeping out in the grounds of the Royal Academy of Arts on 6 November – generating vital funds to prevent homelessness.

The all-night challenge aims to raise money for the Cardinal Hume Centre, a Westminster-based charity which has been helping people overcome poverty and the threat of homelessness for more than 30 years. The Centre provides a wide range of services – including accommodation and support for 32 young people – helping those in need turn their lives around. Last year more than 1,200 people in need came to the Centre for help.

All those braving the cold will be given a soup supper before bedding down for the night, armed only with their sleeping bags, warm clothes and waterproofs. In doing so, they will be drawing attention to growing problem of homelessness in the UK. Last year 4,700 people in England were recorded as sleeping out on the streets on any given night, while an estimated 12,500 people in London alone were living in dangerous and insecure accommodation.

The Centre has limited places for individuals and teams of people to take part. Teams from several well-known companies, including Intuit Quickbooks, Channel 4, Coca-Cola European Partners, Entertainment One and Ridgeway Partners, have already signed up to the event. The money that they and others raise will make an enormous difference to some of the most vulnerable and isolated people in the community.

  • £12 can pay for a young person living at the Cardinal Hume Centre to travel to college for a week
  • £25 can pay for a kitchen ‘starter pack’ so a young homeless person living at the Centre can learn to cook.
  • £50 can pay for bedding and towels for a young person when they move into their new room.

Preparing to brave the cold on 6 November, George O’Neill, Chief Executive of the Cardinal Hume Centre, said: “The numbers of people living on the street and in dangerous accommodation in the UK are deeply shocking. But it doesn’t have to be like this. The Cardinal Hume Centre does a remarkable job of helping people in desperate situations overcome poverty and homelessness. We welcome, we listen and we support all those who come to us in need – finding the best ways for them to turn their lives around. And our approach really works. Thanks to all our brave participants and their generous supporters for helping to make 6 November a really meaningful night.”

To sponsor George O’Neill please go to