Jazz vocalist Jecoliah Frimpong – who was homeless and sleeping on London night buses before she was supported by Depaul UK – will perform in front of thousands of people on Saturday (7 December 2019) at the World’s Big Sleep Out event in London’s Trafalgar Square.
Using her stage-name J Cocoa, Jecoliah, 20, is on the same star-studded bill as headliners Travis, Tom Walker, Rag’n’Bone Man, Jake Bugg and Gang of Youths.
Sleepers will also be treated to a bedtime story read to them by Dame Helen Mirren before they bed down for the night.
Jecoliah said: “When I was 17, I lost my way but Depaul showed me how to get back on my feet and be independent.
“That’s why I am so excited to be performing at the World’s Big Sleep Out in support of Depaul UK and other fantastic charities working to change the lives of homeless and displaced people around the world.”
She added: “I would also like to say a huge thankyou to everyone choosing to take part in the Sleep Out. The difference between someone who sleeps out and someone who simply donates, is that by sleeping out you begin to understand, not just empathise, and in order for change to come, we all need to begin to understand.”
Depaul UK is a national youth homelessness charity which provides emergency accommodation and works to prevent homelessness by delivering housing advice, supported accommodation, counselling, family support and education work in schools. Last year, Depaul UK’s services supported more than 3,200 people nationally who were experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.
Through its same-night, emergency accommodation service Nightstop, since the beginning of the year Depaul UK has provided more than 900 nights of accommodation for young people who may otherwise have had to sleep on the streets.
In London, Depaul UK provides emergency accommodation and works to prevent homelessness by delivering housing advice, supported accommodation, counselling, family support and education work in schools.
On Saturday, 7 December, the world will unite to help fight homelessness in what is the largest charitable fundraising campaign in a generation. The World’s Big Sleep Out, spearheaded by Josh Littlejohn MBE, founder of social enterprise Social Bite, will take place at locations around the world including London, Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle and Belfast.
In London, around 2,000 people will be sleeping out in Trafalgar Square for the benefit of homelessness charities The Big Issue Foundation, Connection at St Martin’s, Depaul UK, Homeless Link and Thames Reach. International partners for the campaign include UNICEF USA, Malala Fund and the Institute of Global Homelessness.