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Ellie Goulding leads stars in Twelve Nights film to show brutal reality of homelessness this Christmas

Celebrities including Chris Martin, Dina Asher-Smith, Ellie Goulding, Emma Thompson, Nihal Arthanayake and Will Poulter, have narrated a new short film from national homelessness charity Crisis, to raise awareness of the impact of homelessness this Christmas.

The film flips the well-known ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ song on its head from celebrating festive gift-giving to highlighting the real and devastating experiences of people facing homelessness at Christmas and how Crisis can help.

The film follows six characters’ journeys from the dangers of being stuck in the worst forms of homelessness - including being forced to sleep on our streets, sleeping on sofas or on public transport – to taking their first steps out of homelessness with the support of Crisis. After coming to Crisis, the characters are shown accessing vital services, being provided with companionship and being connected to Crisis’ year-round support to help them out of homelessness and leave it behind for good – all of which is available at Crisis’ Christmas services.

The film is released as Crisis gears up to its 50th year of providing vital Christmas services for people experiencing homelessness at one of the toughest times of year. Over the Christmas period, the charity will open hotels and centres across the capital, as well as a whole range of services across its 11 Skylight centres, to provide a place to stay, essential food and toiletries, advice on housing, employment and benefits as well as friendship and support.

50 years on since the very first Crisis at Christmas, Crisis is still needed. This year, Crisis is calling on the public to give the gift of a Crisis Christmas to someone experiencing homelessness by donating £29.06.

Singer, songwriter and Crisis Ambassador, Ellie Goulding, said: “Once again, Christmas is fast approaching and still, there are thousands of people across Great Britain experiencing homelessness. I’m incredibly passionate about Crisis’ work and this film shows us the power of the charity’s support in helping people on their journey out of homelessness. I’m proud to be part of the Crisis family and urge anyone who can to join me in supporting Crisis this year and help end homelessness for good.”

Broadcaster Nihal Arthanayake said: “I’m always saddened to see people freezing on our streets and to hear of people stuck in temporary accommodation with nowhere to call home. It often comes up in the conversations I have with people, and from speaking to Crisis about the support they provide, loneliness is often one of the most devastating things about sleeping rough and that even something as simple as having a chat can make all the difference – especially if you can point them to support available.”

Actor Will Poulter said: “Every year, the sheer numbers of people without somewhere safe and secure to live are nothing short of shocking. I found out about Crisis after chatting to someone fundraising for the charity at a station and was approached by someone who had been supported out of homelessness by Crisis. They said they wouldn’t have been where they were now without the charity’s support. That meeting has stayed with me, and that’s what inspires me to support Crisis - I’m so pleased to be involved in this year’s film to highlight the devastation of homelessness, but also the life-changing support that Crisis provides both at Christmas and all-year round. Please support Crisis this year if you can.”

Olympic athlete Dina Asher-Smith said: “Having volunteered at Crisis at Christmas in previous years, I’ve seen the difference that the support, warmth and companionship makes for people who have nowhere else to go. From coming through the doors when the centres open, to when they close, the change you see in people’s confidence is huge once they know that Crisis is there to support them all-year round to help them leave homelessness behind for good.

“When I was asked to be involved in the film, I couldn’t say no. Homelessness has absolutely no place in our society, and I’m proud to support Crisis in their mission to end homelessness both at Christmas and all year round.”

Jon Sparkes, chief executive at Crisis, said: “As we once again prepare to open our Christmas services, this film not only lays bare the brutal realities that people experiencing homelessness face, but also highlights the true value of Crisis and its services in helping people out of homelessness.

“No one should have to spend Christmas homeless and alone, and we’ll once again be doing all we can to support people over the festive period and introduce them to what we can offer all year round too.

“Fifty years on since we first opened our Christmas services, Crisis is still needed – please support Crisis this year and give someone a Crisis Christmas and help more people leave homelessness behind for good.”     

Donate to Crisis here: www.crisis.org.uk/support