Kate Moss backs The Independent's Young and Homeless Helpline campaign

Other celebrities including Stephen Fry and Nile Rodgers also back The Independent and Centrepoint’s Christmas charity appeal

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The Independent Online

Kate Moss said it was “disturbing” that young people were still sleeping rough in 2016, as she backed The Independent’s campaign against youth homelessness.

The supermodel gave her support to the Young and Homeless Helpline appeal being run by The Independent and the charity Centrepoint, and expressed concern at rising levels of youth homelessness. 

The number of people under 25 sleeping rough in London alone has almost tripled in the past five years to 830, according to official statistics.

And with Centrepoint research showing 150,000 16 to 24-year-olds a year are seeking help from UK councils over homelessness issues, Moss also urged support for the “hidden homeless”, some of them sleeping in strangers’ homes or on nightbuses to avoid staying on the street.

The 42-year-old told The Independent: “It is disturbing to think that in 2016 young people are still forced to sleep rough.

“Centrepoint’s work is invaluable in helping the most vulnerable to put a roof over their head – somewhere they can feel safe and warm. 

“It provides both physical and emotional support, teaching these young adults the life skills they need to live independently.”

She urged people to give to The Independent’s Christmas appeal, which is raising money to launch a Freephone helpline in February and also to support other work by Centrepoint, of the kind which allows the charity to achieve positive outcomes with 90 per cent of the young people it assists. 

The helpline will help vulnerable people under the age of 25 to access support for issues including housing, drug addiction, bullying and sexual abuse.

Moss has already been involved in other fundraising work around homelessness.

In 2010, rare photo portraits of the supermodel were auctioned to raise money for homeless charity Crisis.  

In 2009, she was one of a number of celebrities to make a patchwork quilt which was auctioned for £9,500 to raise money for homeless charity Shelter.

As Moss urged readers to donate to our campaign, other famous faces also backed the Young and Homeless Helpline appeal.

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Stephen Fry calls for more to be done to help vulnerable young people sleeping rough on the streets (Getty)

Stephen Fry said: “It may be silly and typically human to think so hard about young homeless people only at Christmas. But it’s a start. After all, the misery and loneliness is thrown into its sharpest relief at the coldest time of year when most of us are lucky enough to be with those we love, warm under a sheltering roof. So let’s do all we can to help the unlucky ones this year."

Musician and producer Nile Rodgers, who as a 16-year-old was homeless in New York and slept in Subway carriages, said the Centrepoint Helpline “could be the difference between life and death” for some young people.

Rodgers, who has worked with Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna, Lady Gaga and many others, received an award from Centrepoint’s patron, Prince William, at a fundraising gala at Kensington Palace in London earlier this month for his charity work around homelessness.

He told The Independent that the new helpline could help save lives.

“There’s nothing like having something you can depend on,” he said.  “When you could be really down in the dumps, just knowing there is a helping hand nearby: believe me, it can truly be the difference life and death.”

The value of a homeless helpline, he added, had already been proved in New York:

“We had a number in NYC, and, honestly, that number was the difference and really saved lives.”

TV magician Troy Von Scheibner said he was shocked a dedicated helpline for youth homelessness did not already exist. 

He was drawn to work of Centrepoint, he said, when several friends almost became homeless.

He said: “I think it’s absolutely clear why the helpline is so vital: people who feel they have no option and no one left, they know they have that line to talk to someone, that they can be helped in some way. 

“It will be a new way to reach people who might be slipping through the net, before it’s too late. It’s an amazing thing, I don't know why it didn't happen sooner. It’s what people are going be able to turn to in the real dark moments.”

 

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How to donate to The Independent’s Christmas Appeal

The Independent’s Homeless Helpline appeal is raising money for the Centrepoint Helpline, a brand new support service that will save young people from ending up on the streets. 

To donate you can: 

Call
0300 330 2731

Text
HOME66 £5 to 70070

Post
Freepost RTKC-JRGU-ZYGT
Centrepoint
40-42 Phoenix Court
Hawkins Road
Colchester
CO2 8JY

Go online
www.independent.co.uk/homelesshelpline