Comedian hopes to stand-up to homelessness with 25 shows in one night

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THE Eagle Inn in Salford hosted a stand-up comedy night in support of The Homeless Stand-Up Project.

The project is an initiative created by a comedienne based in Leigh, with the aim to set up as many comedy nights as possible throughout the UK to raise money for the homeless.

Forty-year-old grandmother Lindsey Davies, is a stand-up comedian. She has volunteered at a homeless shelter in Leigh for the past six months, she said: “I don’t like to see people out in the cold and starving – it should not be happening in today’s society. I volunteer for my local homeless charity called The Homeless Support Project and recently one of our service users died of pneumonia.

“Comedy nights were set up to raise funds for our charity, then I thought about the homeless situation as a whole. I contacted numerous promoters and encouraged them to get on board to do the same.”

The official date for the national event is the 14th December with the donations from the events going to the local non-profit homeless charities in the cities where the events are being held.

Six of the comedy nights will be hosted in Manchester – with one being hosted at The Eagle Inn pub in Salford.

The event raised £433 for chosen homeless charity Coffee4Craig.

Ten stand-up comedians performed on the night – those who attended were asked to donate as much as they’d like to the charity.

Forty-two-year-old, Howard Anstock, was one of those responsible for organising the event, said: “When Coffee4Craig did a sleep-out earlier in the year, myself and some other comics came down and did some entertainment for the volunteers who were sleeping out that night and since then I stayed in touch with the charity, so agreed to organise the fundraiser for Christmas.

Howard, performed on the night and got involved with the stand-up circuit after years of being homeless himself, he added: “I only started this year. I was homeless and various things sort of take you off in a different path. I then sort of decided when things settled down it’d be good to have go so I did the course at the Frog and Bucket.

“When you start doing stuff and people sit and listen, for you to make them laugh it’s just a great feeling. After the homelessness, I did once have a counsellor who said ‘you should probably do stand-up mate because you can get people to pay to listen to you.

“Over the years there’s been a lot of demonising of the poor and vulnerable. Homeless people are an easy target market to pick on because they don’t have a voice and they’re not defended.

“The problem is not getting better, we’ve developed and supposed to be an advancing nation and we’re not. We’ve got one of the biggest homeless rates in Europe and it’s not subsiding. It comes down raising awareness and money. If you can do by having a bit of a laugh and some entertainment, why not.”

Twenty-six-year-old, Dee Lowry, is a volunteer for the homeless charity, Coffee4Craig, she said:

“Something we try to do within Coffee4Craig is to include the voices of people who have lived homelessness with everything that we do. At our drop-in centre, a lot of our volunteers have been homeless, people on our trustee board have been homeless.

“I’ll never been to understand what that’s like. I don’t think you can ever speak on someone else’s behalf so it’s great that he (Howard) has been a part of organising this event.”

Lindsey, who has just made it to the regional finals of The Funny Women Award – has a published comedy novel, called ‘Mr Wrong’, added:

“Currently there are thirty nights running this week. I expect thousands will be raised collectively and at least twenty-five charities will receive a cash boost for Christmas.

I hope to raise thousands collectively and at least provide enough funds through the event to aid charities to help homeless in the winter.

This will be a yearly event and I expect to double it next year. Together, we need to pull together and do what our government fails to do”

You can donate to Coffee4Craig here.

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