Strictly's Neil Jones opens up "sleeping on the streets for a short period" as a teenager

Francesca Rice
Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images

From Good Housekeeping

Strictly Come Dancing's Neil Jones has opened up about homelessness on Instagram, revealing that he found himself "sleeping on the streets for a short period" as a teenager.

The pro dancer was helping raise money and awareness for the UK charity Depaul, which helps people who are homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged. The charity is currently running a 'Sleep Bedless' campaign, which involves sleeping somewhere other than your bed for one night, before donating £5 to the charity and nominating three friends to do the same.

Sharing a photo of himself lying in a sleeping bag in his garden as he took part in the campaign, Neil explained that charities like Depaul have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, and told followers how to get involved with 'Sleep Bedless'.

He wrote in the accompanying caption: "As you know during lockdown I’ve been lucky to be able to move into my very own flat🙏🏻. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, many charities have been hit hard, and one which was hit hard [is] @depaul_uk youth homelessness charity, who support vulnerable people who move from place to place, staying on sofas/floors often in unsafe situations facing physical, mental and even sexual abuse and exploitation."

Speaking about his own experiences, Neil continued: "Not many people know but as a teen I found myself at one point sleeping on the streets for a short period but because of a charity like Depaul I was able to find a place to stay.

"Depaul provide emergency and longer-term accommodation and ongoing support with mental and physical health, employment and more."

Neil's post has since been inundated with likes and comments from followers, who praised him for taking part in the campaign and speaking about his own experiences.

To find out more about Depaul and its Sleep Bedless campaign or to make a donation, visit the charity's website.

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