Leeds Student Radio Presenters Host 16 Hour Broadcast For Youth Homelessness
Liv and Sam
Two Leeds University students presented an all day and night live show on Leeds Student Radio and raised £300 for the UK’s leading youth homelessness charity Centrepoint.
Radio presenters Olivia Snelson and Samantha Willetts, both 22 years old, kept their listeners entertained from 8am until midnight (Wednesday 16th June) by inviting some special guests to appear on the show, including regular performers at Edinburgh Fringe ‘The Leeds Tealights’. The budding journalists also interviewed other students who work on the station covering important topics like mental health and youth homelessness.
Samantha Willets, who is hoping for a future working in production, clarified why they opted for a 16 hour radio stint:
“Centrepoint wants to end youth homelessness by 2037 which is in 16 years’ time. We also missed 16 hours of studio time this year due to COVID restrictions, so we’re making up for lost time for a worthwhile cause.”
Olivia Snelson, who aspires for a career in radio, explained why the radio station’s chosen charity was Centrepoint:
“I think as young people ourselves we want to do anything we can to try and raise awareness for the issue of youth homelessness. By raising money ourselves hopefully we can help young people who end up in vulnerable positions.”
The pair were inspired by Centrepoint’s earlier fundraising event STAY:UP, which has currently raised £41,000 and challenged the public to stay awake all night to raise awareness for young homeless people who often endure sleepless nights, as they struggle to bed down somewhere for the night.
Centrepoint’s Community and Events Fundraising Manager Lucy Goble, who also appeared on the show said:
“Our fundraisers constantly surprise me with their creative efforts to help us raise money for homeless young people. We are so grateful to Olivia, Samantha and everyone at Leeds Student Radio.
“Unemployment rates for under 25s have skyrocketed this year and many young people are struggling to pay their rent and are on the brink of homelessness. It’s now a critical time for vulnerable young people.”
Before the pandemic, youth homelessness was already at a crisis point. Between 2019 – 2020, over 5,000 young people approached their local authority as they were experiencing homelessness in Yorkshire and the Humber, and over 1,500 of them were in Leeds. Centrepoint expects that these numbers have increased due to the pandemic. Over the past year calls to Centrepoints Helpline from young people experiencing homelessness or worried about homelessness has increased by a third compared to the previous year.
The money raised this year will go towards the Centrepoint hostels that provide homeless young people safe and stable accommodation, support for homeless young people’s physical and mental health and access to training and education.
To donate to Olivia and Samantha visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lsr16hoursforcentrepoint
For more information about the charity visit centrepoint.org.uk