A homelessness charity has organised Croydon's first ever 'sleep out' to raise awareness and funding for rough sleepers.

For one night Evolve Housing, which provides housing and support to over 2000 homeless people each year, is inviting the public to give up their beds and instead sleep in Croydon's Boxpark.

Over 100 individuals and a range of businesses have already committed themselves and teams to the event, which by no means will replicate the reality of rough sleeping, but instead represent a community make a public commitment to helping the homeless.

Jeremy Gray, Chief Executive at Evolve said: “Myself, our Chair and many of our supporters will be joining in to make a difference to homeless people particularly in and around Croydon.

Homelessness in Croydon and across London has risen significantly in the past ten years, Evolve currently support over 300 homeless people in Croydon alone.

"The issue in Croydon is acute and it’s vitally important that we galvanize local people and businesses to come together and solve this issue and support homeless people”.

If you are interested in making a positive difference to homeless people join Evolve Sleep Out Croydon. There’s a small registration fee of £20 and those participating are required to raise £175 in sponsorship - all of which will go towards supporting our work with homeless people.

Matthew Sims, Chief Executive of Croydon BID said: “Homelessness in Croydon, London and across the UK is a significant challenge.

"It’s growing and we can’t ignore it by looking away.

"The business community led by Croydon BID and our membership of 560 levy payers is committed to making a difference with our partners to the lives of those in need of support.

"The Evolve Sleep Out Croydon is a powerful way in which we can all engage and play an active part in ending homelessness.”

“I am delighted to be supporting Evolve, an organisation we have long had a partnership with. Without Evolve there would be an additional 2000 people facing homelessness each year.

First ever Croydon Sleep Out invites you to help conquer homelessness

Some of the businesses and individuals already signed up to participate include: Goddard Perry, Metro Bank, Natterbox, NatWest, Pre-surveyors, Schroders, Switch Communications, Tempus Facilities Management, White Label Creative, Whitgift Centre, and Bianca Miller-Cole, runner-up of the BBC Apprentice and local businesswoman.

The Sleep Out will begin at 9.30pm with registration, a cup of tea and a few words people with lived experience of streets. From 11pm, participants will bed down for the night.

Breakfast baps will be served at dawn and a finisher’s photo will be given to each particpant.

If you are interested in taking part, there is a registration fee of £20 and those participating are required to raise £175 in sponsorship - all of which will go towards supporting Evolve's work.

Sign up here