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Courteeners to ‘raise the roof’ for Manchester homelessness benefit gig

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The band will be joined by Lisa Stansfield, Blossoms and the ‘Bard of Salford’ Dr John Cooper Clarke for the May 24 event.

The Courteeners performing

The Courteeners, Lisa Stansfield and the “Bard of Salford” Dr John Cooper Clarke are to come together for a one-off gig to raise money to tackle homelessness in Manchester.

The “Raise the Roof” event will also see sets from Blossoms, Bugzy Malone and DJ Sunta Templeton and promises a host of surprise guests from sport, TV and comedy.

To get tickets, fans are being asked to make a £10 donation to the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, to raise money for the A Bed Every Night scheme and support people who would be otherwise sleeping rough.

Lisa Stansfield
Lisa Stansfield will also perform (PA)

Their details will then go into a public ballot and 1,600 lucky winners will each receive a pair of tickets to attend the event at the O2 Victoria Warehouse Manchester, on May 24.

The Courteeners lead singer Liam Fray said it was a cause that was close to the band’s hearts.

He said: “We don’t want to just get people to get people to text, you want to raise awareness but you want to make sure people are reminded to be compassionate.

“When people are walking down the street it’s not enough to throw £2 in a cup, sometimes people just want to look them in the eye and say ‘how you doing?’ or ‘good evening’ or whatever.

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“We’re raising awareness, I think, to be compassionate and remind people that there’s loads of people that are less fortunate than us.”

Fray said he had never seen the problem as bad as it had been in his hometown of Manchester in recent years.

He said: ” It’s kind of harrowing that some people are almost resigned not to that’s it, some of them have given up hope.”

Tom Ogden, from band Blossoms, said: “Being from Greater Manchester and coming into the city on a regular basis homelessness is something you see all the time and it’s not something you like seeing.

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“If we can do something to use our fanbase to spread the message and get people involved then it’s something we jumped at the opportunity to do.”

Homelessness in Manchester, and other towns in the region has increased in recent years.

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, has given the problem a high priority and Manchester City’s captain Vincent Kompany has helped raise around £240,000 from his testimonial year events to be donated to fight homelessness.

Andy Burnham
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has made tackling homelessness in the city a priority (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Mr Burnham said: “Greater Manchester is the only city-region trying to give everyone somewhere to go every night.

“Our A Bed Every Night scheme has been running since November and has helped over 500 people off the streets.

“But to keep it going, we urgently need to raise more funds.

“Just as Vincent Kompany has brought the football world behind our campaign, it is brilliant to see our music industry and supporting business industries stepping forward with ‘Raise The Roof’.

“I am immensely grateful to all the performers taking part and proud of the stand our city is taking on the homelessness crisis.

“If we all work together, we can end the need for rough-sleeping here and send out a message of hope in these dark times.”

Fans who want a ticket should text ‘RAISE’ to 84988, before midday on Friday May 3, to be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets for the concert.

Anyone aged 16 or 17 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

Further information is available at www.RaisetheRoofGM.co.uk

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