FUNDRAISING: Sol Campbell joined company bosses for the sleepout. (Inset) The ex-Arsenal star in his England days
FORMER ENGLAND footballer Sol Campbell has vowed to continue exposing the plight of the homeless after sleeping on the streets of Lon- don to raise funds for charity.
The ex-Arsenal and Tottenham player raised money for the Cardinal Hume Centre in Westminster when he slept out at Lord’s cricket ground, in north London.
Campbell, 42, joined 250 other company bosses during the annual CEO Sleepout event to raise £180,000 for the homeless.
A 12-strong team from Fiona Barratt Interiors, a company owned by Campbell’s wife, also participated in the charity event.
Describing his experience of sleeping at Lord’s, the former Premier League player told The Voice: “I didn’t experience the full scenario of a homeless per- son in London; the cardboard box, exposure to dangerous characters and old clothing, but I was sleeping on concrete. I wanted to demonstrate some empathy for those who find themselves in a very difficult situation and highlight this during the Christmas period.”
He continued: “I would definitely like to be involved in raising awareness of homeless people throughout the year.”
Up to 90,000 children sleep in temporary accommodation each night in London, a figure that prompted Labour’s shadow housing minister John Healey to comment that the Government should “hang its head in shame”.
Campbell called on local authorities and charities to provide greater support for people who find themselves out on the streets. “I would like the home- less to have greater accessibility to sheltered areas and stations where they can receive food, to help them survive on the streets,” he said.
During the CEO Sleepout, senior level employees from any industry are invited to give up their bed for the night to help those who don’t have one by raising funds.
London mayor Sadiq Khan recently announced his intention to work closely with the government, TfL, local authorities and the voluntary sector to tackle the issue.
He said: “In London, we have experienced a worrying rise in rough sleeping, and it’s important to support charities that help many vulnerable young people off the streets.”
Last year’s CEO Sleepout took place outside the Oval cricket ground. UK founder Andy Preston revealed he was pleased with how this year’s event went.
He said: “This is undoubtedly the greatest CEO Sleepout we have ever done.
“The turnout has been amazing and the venue stunning.”
During the interview with The Voice, Campbell revealed that he is hoping to re-enter football during 2017 as a manager.
The ex-player said: “I have put my CV together and I’m trying to persuade clubs to provide an opening. It’s a new process for me, which requires me demonstrating that I have the passion and commitment to manage a club, that I fit the bill. I will keep knocking on the doors of opportunity.”
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