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Sleep-out raises thousands to help homeless

MORE than £12,000 was raised to help homeless people thanks to a sleep-out on the streets by two Brunel University students and entrepreneur Wayne Lineker.

From left: Wayne Lineker, Alicia Liberty and Mirjan Bokiu taking part in a charity sleep-out in aid of Streets of London

Alicia Liberty, 23, and Mirjan Bokciu, 26, spent the night on the pavement in the grounds of a churchyard in Elephant and Castle as part of a ‘"sleep out" event for a charity called Streets of London.

They were among a crowd of 177 people taking part in the event on October 22, which raised a total of £52,000.

But Alicia and boyfriend Mirjan raised more than £12,000 of that total alongside Mr Lineker, who stayed on the pavement with them.

Journalism post-graduate student Alicia works part-time for Mr Lineker, a TV reality star who owns a string of businesses and is also brother to football legend Gary.

Alicia said: “I was delighted when Wayne offered to take part with us. I know it’s a cause close to his heart. It helped our online fundraising go into overdrive and we raised a huge amount of money over a short period of time.

“The funny thing is that it was a last-minute decision to take part as we only came across the event less than three weeks before.”

Mirjan, a post-graduate engineering student at Brunel who also works in construction, said: “When I am going to work, I am seeing more and more people homeless each year and it’s a growing problem that needs to be addressed.”

Streets of London is a small charity which started in 2011. The charity funds projects across the capital to help people get off the streets by meeting their immediate needs as well as assisting them long term to ensure they remain housed.

Ian Stueart Fothringham, 45, of London, the charity’s director, said: “I worked in the homeless sector 15 years ago, and whilst I was working there, I realised there was not enough support to help people. There was a huge shortfall, and there needed much more funding.”

Since 2015 Streets of London has provided more than £650,000 worth of support by assisting 25 different charities across the capital.

Mr Lineker is an ambassador behind closed doors for a charity named Dom’s Food Mission, that provides meals for the homeless.

He said of the October 22 sleep out: “It’s a great event as it gives people a slight insight to what people go through every night. It is easy for us as we go back to our warm beds, but they don’t have that horizon. It’s very special to be able to take part.”

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