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Sam Fender announced as patron of North East Homeless

Sam Fender has announced his plans to support a regional charity North Shields-based North East Homeless on an official footing, ahead of two sell-out gigs on home ground next week.

Brian Burridge, who set up the charity with his wife, Emma, said that Sam had been a real champion of their work, even giving them a shoutout as part of his acceptance speech at this year’s BRIT awards.

Brian said: “Even though he’s now an internationally recognised artist, Sam has always kept his strong connections with the area.

“It started during lockdown when he couldn’t tour so he used to pop in here all the time, sometimes just sitting and playing the piano.

“We’ve always been a bit of a safe space for him and he just always pops in when he can.

“We are absolutely delighted that he’s agreed to be our patron.”

North East Homeless operates from a unit at Northumberland Street, North Shields where it offers a range of services for homeless people, including food, training and support.

The Fish Quay Hub is also open to the public who can use the event spaces and the café, which helps raise funds for their work.

Brian continues: “Sam has already been a huge help to us.

“He helped support our campaign to get councils to offer free helplines for vulnerable people in need of support rather than charge premium number prices.

“Him sharing this on his social media channels made all the difference to our success and it’s a massive boost to us to have him on our side.

“He may now be a globally recognised musician but he’s still a lad from North Shields who always remembers where he came from.”

The acclaimed musician said he was delighted to be on board.

Sam said: “It’s an honour to help a charity that’s so close to my heart.

“Homelessness is a massive problem, North East Homeless help so many people to turn their lives around, families shouldn’t be struggling through no fault of their own.”

Further information about North East Homeless – which has also just unveiled plans for a huge revamp of its current facilities – is available at www.northeasthomeless.org.uk