Evgeny Lebedev

‘Thank you for your extraordinary generosity in donating to the Homeless Helpline Appeal’

The Independent Friday 3 February 2017

The proprietor of The Independent thanks readers for donating to a Young and Homeless Helpline that will provide vital assistance to ‘thousands of the country’s most vulnerable young people for years to come’

Today I am delighted to announce that The Independent’Young and Homeless Helpline Appeal has smashed through the £3m barrier.

More than anything, this remarkable achievement is testament to the extraordinary generosity of you, the readers, and your commitment to fighting the scourge of youth homelessness.

In such a prosperous and thriving country it is shameful that so many thousands of young people find themselves sleeping rough or in perilous temporary accommodation.

This money will enable the creation of Centrepoint’s new Young and Homeless Helpline. This free helpline will be the first centralised youth homelessness advice service and will provide those who are at risk of sleeping on the streets with the help they need when they need it.

But that is not all. Thankfully, we now have the money to also help give vulnerable young people the training they need to get into work, treat their mental health issues and learn the skills need to go on to achieve successful independent lives.

Most of the £3m has been raised from the general public, whether responding to Centrepoint’s adverts on the Tube in London, vouchers or charity auctions on this website.

Corporate donors have also played their part. The Asos Foundation, The Arsenal Foundation, Cameron Mackintosh, Deliveroo and Airbnb, in particular, have been extraordinarily generous.

But we would not have hit £3m without the backing of some of Britain’s leading names from business, art and politics. Sadiq KhanTheresa MayTim Farron and Jeremy Corbyn have pledged their support, along with Ed SheeranEllie Goulding and Phil Collins.

In particular, I would like to recognise the Duke of Cambridge, whose call to action was the inspiration behind the whole campaign, and who will be there helping the Helpline’s volunteers when it launches in just 10 days time.

On behalf of The Independent, Centrepoint, and thousands of the country’s most vulnerable young people for years to come, I would just like to say: thank you.