Sunderland AFC legend Kevin Ball urges people to help the homeless ahead of Stadium of Light annual Sleep Out event

Black Cats fans are urged to swap their bed for a sleeping bag and spend the night in the Stadium of Light to help raise funds for Sunderland’s homeless young people.

Sunderland AFC will be holding its fifth annual Sleep Out, on November 15, to raise funds for youth homeless charity, Centrepoint, and the club’s Foundation of Light.

Centrepoint Sleep Out homeless fundraiser at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland AFC Legend and former captain Kevin Ball with Centre Point's fundraiser Jess Sullivan and Martin Gill director of housing (R)

Centrepoint Sleep Out homeless fundraiser at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland AFC Legend and former captain Kevin Ball with Centre Point's fundraiser Jess Sullivan and Martin Gill director of housing (R)

Sunderland AFC legend Kevin Ball, who attended last year’s event, said: “There is going to be a lot of people who are homeless at the moment and they do need our support. The only way sometimes to do that is to go out and raise money and know that when the money goes to Centrepoint it is going to be used in the right way to support these people.”

Sleeping in the Stadium of Light, participants will get an idea of the challenges homeless young people face.

There will be activities and entertainment taking place at the event, sponsored by Grand Central Rail. Participants will also receive a hot meal in the evening and breakfast.

Foundation of Light and Centrepoint hope to raise more than £20,000 and better last year’s event that saw over 80 participants brace the cold.

Jess Sullivan, regional fundraising officer for Centrepoint, said: “While the event only offers a glimpse in to the struggles of being homeless, the money raised will have a huge impact on those in the North East who unfortunately find homelessness as their reality.”