BY TOBY PORTER
Borough Market has staged its first sleepover, inviting South Londoners to bed down in its market hall to support young people who face homelessness.
The venue was set up for 150 members of the community to kip overnight in bitter cold to help local charity Depaul, which is based half a mile away.
It attracted sleepers from Southwark businesses, schools and colleges as well as from church communities across London.
Organiser Roisin Moore said: “Southwark Sleepout really was an example of people getting together when it counts and raising awareness of the extent of youth homelessness in our capital.
Depaul UK are so grateful to Borough Market for allowing us to hold the event in such an iconic London venue.”
Depaul UK chief executive Martin Houghton-Brown said: “Southwark Sleepout was an extremely community-focussed event, raising awareness of and funds for the vital work that Depaul does in the Borough and across London and the South East.
“The Southwark Sleepout is another example of the togetherness and community spirit demonstrated by Borough Market following the devastating terrorist attack in June.
“The venue will host an array of events over the coming months and, as a local charity, we’re privileged and grateful to Borough Market and its staff for allowing us to stage this unique sleepout in market hall.”
Darren Henaghan, managing director at Borough Market, said: “Borough Market has always been a place where members of a community come together to connect and share experiences.
“By giving over Borough’s Market Hall to host the Southwark Sleepout, we hope to help Depaul continue the vital work they do in keeping young and vulnerable people at risk of homelessness off the streets – a fantastic cause indeed.”
Local branches of Vital Ingredient and Leon donated hot soup, bread rolls and breakfasts for the hungry sleepers.
It also featured live music, guest speakers and a question-and-answer session.
Depaul UK runs a homelessness day centre in Southwark at Sherborne House, in Decima Street, which is also the base of its Nightstop London emergency accommodation service and Alone in London, which provides advice and support to young people at risk of homelessness in the capital.
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