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Imelda Staunton, Sophie Turner, Simone Ashley and Will Poulter join Crisis to help people build a life beyond homelessness this Christmas

Crisis is preparing to support over 7,000 people facing homelessness this Christmas as the charity expects high demand for its services

Today (Thursday 7th December), star of hit Netflix series The Crown, Imelda Staunton, Game of Thrones actor, Sophie Turner, Bridgerton actor, Simone Ashley and The Bear actor, Will Poulter, joined national homelessness charity Crisis to help with preparations for the opening of the charity’s Christmas services, which will be providing vital support to people facing homelessness over the festive period.

Imelda - who is also a Crisis Ambassador – was joined by her daughter and Bridgerton actor, Bessie Carter, and fellow The Crown actor, Sam Phillips, at the charity’s warehouse in London. The group got stuck into a range of tasks, including preparing packs of essential items, such as toiletries and warm winter clothing, as well as writing Christmas cards and sorting through food donations to be distributed to guests when they arrive at Crisis’ services.

In just under two weeks, the charity will be taking over three hotels in London that will accommodate over 570 people who would otherwise be sleeping rough. Crisis will also be opening day centres across the capital that will support people in insecure accommodation such as hostels and B&Bs. All told, through their year-round services, hotels and health and wellbeing programmes, Crisis expects to help over 7,000 people this Christmas.

The warehouse is an integral part of Crisis at Christmas and is where all the vital donations including food, clothing, toiletries, games and activities are organised ahead of being distributed out to Crisis’ Christmas services across Britain.

Crisis estimates that over 250,000 households across Britain are currently experiencing the worst forms of homelessness – from sleeping on the streets, in cars or on public transport to sofa surfing and being trapped in unsuitable temporary accommodation. In these tough economic times, homelessness has risen sharply in the last 12 months and so the charity is anticipating particularly high demand for its services this year.

Imelda Staunton, Actress and Crisis Ambassador, said: “It’s been wonderful to be in the beating heart of Crisis at Christmas and help with vital preparations for the opening of their services later this month. Every detail – from the welcome packs received by guests on their first day, to the food donations for their Christmas dinner – is crucial in helping Crisis support people to leave homelessness behind this festive season. I urge anyone who can to join me in supporting Crisis, so they can be there for anyone who needs them, this Christmas and beyond.”

Matt Downie, Crisis Chief Executive, said: “No one should have to spend Christmas without the security of a safe home. Yet thousands of households across the country are now experiencing the worst forms of homelessness, including sleeping on the streets, spending night after night on friends and families' sofas or stuck in crowded B&Bs and hostels.

“This Christmas, we’ll once again be doing all we can to support people as they start their journey out of homelessness. Behind every life-changing moment for our guests are these vital preparations - our Christmas services simply wouldn’t be possible without volunteers like Imelda, Sophie, Simone and Will, and hundreds of others, who dedicate their time to ensure people experiencing homelessness aren’t alone this Christmas. We’re extremely grateful to them all for being here today, and to all our generous supporters, as only by working together will we ensure that thousands can leave homelessness behind for good.”