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Choir With No Name to perform at sponsored sleep-out for winter shelter

London SE1 website team

A charity which runs winter night shelters for homeless people in Lambeth and Southwark is inviting locals to join a sponsored sleep-out to raise funds for the project.

Choir With No Name to perform at sponsored sleep-out for winter shelter
Very Revd Andrew Nunn and Mandi Sturrock

The Robes Project accommodates dozens of rough sleepers from November to April, providing a hot meal, beds and somewhere to wash each night, with a hot breakfast every morning.

Local churches from a wide variety of denominations take it in turns to provide hospitality in their parish halls and community rooms.

This year's project launched on Sunday night with a service at Christ Church Southwark attended by the Mayor of Lambeth Cllr Mark Bennett, the Deputy Mayor of Southwark Cllr Sunil Chopra and Simon Hughes MP.

One of the charity's main funding sources is an annual sponsored sleep-out in the grounds of Southwark Cathedral which last year raised more than 60,000 to help run the shelters.

Details of this year's sleep-out on Friday 29 November have now been announced.

"We're thrilled to be entertained by two such great musical acts this year: the Choir with No Name and the Brass Quintet of the Band of the Life Guards," said the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark.

"It promises to be a fun way to begin the evening with a great line-up of music and a charity auction, in the unique atmosphere of the cathedral, before we bed down for a night under the stars.

"This is a highlight in the cathedral's year and a great way to raise essential funds for Robes and show real solidarity with people who have to sleep out every night.

"The money we raise will help people off the streets and into long-term housing, training and jobs."

Marie Benton, founder of the Choir with No Name, said: "We are delighted to be appearing at this amazing charity sleep-out.

"Many of the choir members have first-hand experience rough sleeping and if this winter is like last year's, there will be many people whose lives are at risk.

"Cold weather shelters are a crucial service and we should all do everything we can to support charities like this."

Mandi Sturrock, chair of the Sleep-out committee, added: "This sponsored Sleep-out has transformed the financing of the night shelters. That is why it is so important to support it. We all feel passionate about the Robes project and delighted that, on this one night each year, we can show our solidarity with the other volunteers who give so much to help keep those who are vulnerable off our streets during the winter."

In 2012/13 the Robes Project shelter ran for 134 nights and stopped 53 guests from sleeping rough. The charity provided almost 3,000 bed spaces over the winter. The Robes Project advice worker helped guests to find stable accommodation and to access services.

• To register for the sleep-out go to www.robes.org.uk

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