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Dame Helen trats fundraisers to a bedtime story
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Dame Helen Mirren reads bedtime story at London charity sleepout

Dame Helen Mirren treated fundraisers camping in London’s Trafalgar Square to a bedtime story. 

The actress was among several high-profile names supporting the World’s Big Sleep Out event – with actor Will Smith doing the honours in New York’s Times Square. 

The global bid to tackle homelessness saw supporters brave the cold in a drive to raise $50m for homelessness charities. 

An estimated 60,000 people participated in this year’s event. The sleepouts took place across the globe, in cities including LA, NYC, Chicago, Dublin, Edinburgh and Cardiff. 

In Edinburgh, Brian Cox opened the sleep out, saying the time had come to address the issue. 

“It has gone on long enough,” he said. “We have just accepted these norms which shouldn’t be accepted.

“It’s just accepted as a norm, and it’s worldwide – it’s an example of worldwide lack of care that we’ve allowed this situation to get out of hand,” he added. 

A clear mandate for political action

The World’s Big Sleep Out campaign was founded by Josh Littlejohn. The charity organised a sleep out in 2016 with 270 participants and the event has continued to grow. 

Mr Littlejohn said: “What the incredible 60,000 people who slept out all over the world have done tonight is to shine the spotlight on this global issue and show that we care. 

“I am truly blown away by the response to our campaign and sincerely grateful to every single person who has given up their beds tonight to raise the funds and awareness needed to make an impact. 

“I hope that what happened in this campaign demonstrates a clear mandate for political action to tackle the homelessness crisis to whoever ends up in government in a few days’ time.”

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Dame Helen Mirren reads bedtime story at London charity sleepout
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