I was contacted yesterday by Jenny Roberts who shared her story about her brother. It really resonated with me and I thought that myself and the OMBLES can help her great cause.
Tweet your posters along with this link https://apple.co/2Ilu8p2 to @OneMinuteBriefs and @JenR_PR with the hashtag #HomelessWorldwide You can also mention @Shelter and @SalvationArmyUK who are supporting the campaign.
Please download the track (it’s only 99p) retweet as much as possible today to help spread the word and encourage others to download the track too. Let’s make today’s OMB as big as possible… tag celebs, MPs, sports star… anyone you think can make a difference.
Here are some Twitter feeds of people singing on the track to help:
The winner receives a signed T-shirt by an artist of their choice singing on the track.
Music video link https://youtu.be/WtD1WUkqOLY
Download/stream links: https://listnin.co/HomelessWorldwideandFriends
Former Big Issue Seller That Died On London’s Streets Is The Focus of 50thAnniversary Release Of ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’
Homeless Man Was Dead For 3 Months Before Anyone Told Family
* Homeless Man Who Died On London Streets Always Wanted To Record ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’
* The Hollies Give Their Blessing To 50thAnniversary Release Of Beloved Track
* Chico Slimani is joined by Peter André, Atomic Kitten’s Natasha Hamilton, Blue’s Lee Ryan, Heather Small, Lead singer of M People, Newton Faulkner and Alexander O’Neal
* Homelessness in UK has shockingly increased by 165% In Last 8 Years
* 320,000 Brits are Homeless, 4,700 ‘sleep rough’ on the streets
* Everyone is just one payday away from Homelessness
The founder of Homeless Worldwide, Jen Roberts, wants to stem the rising tide of homelessness in the UK and across the world – in the memory of her dear brother Darren James, who died on the 23rd Dec 2017 sleeping rough on London's streets.
Since his passing, 597 people have lost their lives homeless in Britain.
On any one night, 4,751 people sleep rough in Britain, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (Jan 2018). The total number of Homeless is currently estimated at 320,000, according to Shelter (Dec 2018). The number of homeless in Britain has increased 165% since 2010. Globally, 100 million people are estimated to be homeless (UN 2005).
UK celebrities including Chico Slimani, who has just made a comeback after suffering a stroke in September last year; Peter André; Atomic Kitten’s Natasha Hamilton; Blue’s Lee Ryan; Heather Small the lead singer from the M People; Natasha Hamilton from Atomic Kitten; and Alexander O’Nealhave put their heart and soul into recording the 50thanniversary release of The Hollies classic ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ recorded at Abbey Road in 1969. The London Community Gospel Choir were supported by David Bratton from the New York Gospel Choir directed along with Basil Meade on the track. The Producer of the single is Ivor Novello winner Pete Kirtley.
The Hollies have offered their wholehearted support for the 50thanniversary release of He Ain’t Heavy. Original Hollies drummer Billy Elliott, speaking on behalf of the band, said: “When Elton John, Tony Hicks and I played on the original track of ‘He Ain’t Heavy’ in Abbey Road recording studios back in 1969, we not only created the Hollies anthem but a song perfect for Homeless Worldwide. Their welfare is our concern. They ain’t heavy, they’re our brothers and sisters. Our very best wishes as the dream becomes reality”.
All proceeds from the sale of the single are going to Shelter, backed by Prince William, The Salvation Army, The Ciro Orsini and Armande Assante Children’s Fund and smaller homeless and veteran charities.
Jen Roberts’ brother, Darren James, died at 49 years of age, on Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush, London in December 2017. Eventhough his identity and family contacts were on him, family weren't informed about his death for 3 months until March 2018. He had been rough-sleeping in the capital for 2 years.
“We still don’t know precisely why he died, but we’re very sure it was also of a broken heart,” says Jen Roberts. “The love of his life, Claire, who he met on streets, died in 2015. After she died, Darren simply struggled to go on”.
Jen has just returned from a fact-finding mission to Helsinki, Finland, which has a zero-tolerance policy towards Homelessness. “A lot of critics thought that giving housing to everyone in Finland would see an abuse of the system. Instead the opposite has happened as homeless people fully engage in support services and turn their lives around," she says."The biggest crime in British society is the complete lack of social housing. It simply doesn't exist," she says. "Also, the fact that there are currently 13,000 Veterans - who fought for Britain in war - left homeless is an outrage" she says.
Jen has her own story of Homelessness. After a breakup from her ex, in 2017 she was left without a home or her furniture and possessions having to instead sleeping on the sofas of friends for 4 months while she tried to get her life back together”.
“I don’t want the loss of the life of my brother to be another life wasted. Darren was truly loved by everyone. His humour, good nature and kindness will live on with this single”.
Darren used to constantly sing He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother to Jen as they grew up in Essex. “It was always his dream to one day record it in a studio and release it,” she says. "Now that dream has posthumously come true".
Chico Slilani says:
“Homelessness should not happen in a First world country like Britain, but it could happen to anybody. For each one there is tragic story, be it loss of family, marriage, drugs or alcohol. And it is our duty as human beings to look at them with empathy and realise that life can throw us a curve ball at anytime and turn our lives upside down”.
“It’s never been more important to truly LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR and help a brother, hence why “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother” is the most befitting song for this most tragic but solvable situation”.
“The solution is we all need to get together behind this and give our unconditional love to help”.
Alexander O’Neal says:
“I grew up in Mississippi with very little and watch everyone around me have something, I understand how difficult it is so when my good friend Jenny Roberts contacted me I wanted to help her immediately and give back
Peter André says:
“I met this amazing woman called Jen Roberts last month who lost her brother Darren on the streets of London and his death went unreported for months and it caused her and her family a lot of grief and distress. He died and his death was never reported or fed back to her which is terrible. To channel her grief, she decided to set up the charity Homelessness worldwide in her brother’s memory and to raise awareness. So when she told me that she was going to record a version of the classic Hollies’ track He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother, with the likes of Alexander O’Neal and Heather Small on it, I couldn’t not not be involved”.
EnnisEl (London Community Gospel Choir) says:
“If we can we must all bring to the table hands of expertise in dealing with the homelessness. The government don't seem to care. So it's left to us to do what we can”.
EnnisEl (a member of London Community Gospel Choir) went to the site where Darren James died at Goldhawk Lane, Shepherds Bush and Jen Roberts. EnnisEl a member of London Community Gospel Choir has ironically experienced homelessness with his brother at 15. The crunch came when Newham admitted him to temporary accommodation, but not his brother, who at 15 was estranged from his parents. Because of this, Crisis in London who housed him until social-funded lawyers were able to get them reunited. The harrowing experience has kept homelessness front of mind ever since. Since November 2016 he's been looking after a homeless Albanian called Rado. He’s liased with authorities @NewhamLondon to help him, but still to no avail.