AP NEWS

Michael Sheen launches helpline for young homeless people

March 2, 2019

Michael Sheen has launched Wales’ first out-of-hours helpline for young homeless people.

The 50-year-old actor has helped to create The Youth Homeless Helpline, a free service which is open throughout the night and on weekends, where trained volunteers will provide support and advise and give information on where to find access to safe temporary accommodation.

The ‘Underworld’ star said the key to bringing the project to life was listening to the needs of young people who had experienced rough sleeping.

Speaking to ITV news, he said: “It’s been two years since we got together with a group of young people who had gone through homelessness and we said to them, you’re the experts, you tell us what you need when you’re in your situation with nowhere to go and no one to help you’, and they were the ones who came up with the idea.”

In July 2016, young people in the UK were supported by a range of youth homelessness charities launched after a petition was launched calling for an out-of-hours helpline, and the ‘Frost/Nixon’ actor insisted that the helpline shows how young people who have faced adversity can turn their lives around “with the right sort of support”.

The ‘Passengers’ star continued: “Everyone goes through a crisis at some point in their lives it doesn’t matter who you are or what your circumstances are we all go through different times and we need support.

“The most vulnerable, the most in need of help to see them being able to get a petition going come up with the idea put pressure on politicians in Westminster and get the support.

“It shows what they can do with right sort of support. They can do something that is gonna change countless people’s lives.”

An appeal with donations from Nationwide Building Society and members of the public has raised over £90,000 which will go towards the running of the helpline over the next year.