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Coldplay backs city homelessness charity’s first major Christmas campaign

A band of global superstars have thrown their weight behind an Exeter-based homelessness charity, by supporting the first major Christmas campaign of its 26-year history.

St Petrock’s will launch a gritty, yet heartwarming short film next week, as people on low incomes are plunged further into poverty, while the country slides into a recession triggered by soaring inflation and interest rate rises.

From discussions with partner agencies and St Petrock’s own observations, the charity estimates the number of rough sleepers on the streets of Exeter has doubled in the space of just 12 months.

Coldplay, whose lead singer Chris Martin grew up locally, has allowed St Petrock’s to use the band’s bittersweet track, Christmas Lights, as the soundtrack to the fundraising film, which will go live across the charity’s social media channels next week.

All the faces featured in the film are St Petrock’s staff and real-life clients, who have consented to take part, in a bid to help the charity raise money for a service that is increasingly in demand.

A Day in the Life of St Petrock’s has been produced completely free of charge by film production company, All Told, whose team has worked for major brands such as Nationwide, Tesco, National Trust, South West Water and Nike.

Peter Stephenson, Director of St Petrock’s said: “Things are very challenging right now for all of us, but especially for those with nowhere to call home. Against this tragic backdrop, we’re very excited about this year’s Christmas campaign.  It’s incredible that Coldplay is supporting us and All Told has produced an absolutely superb film. Fran McElhone of Dotty Creative has also taken some wonderful photographs, which will help enormously with our fundraising work.

“We wanted to give people a true insight into the work we do on a daily basis and that meant involving our staff and clients – those who are rough sleeping as well as those in insecure accommodation.

“I’m very grateful to our clients in particular, for being so willing to take part in our film.

“Each day I’m humbled by the support given to us by generous local residents, faith organisations and businesses. However, the challenge we now face is that sadly the demand for our services is growing – and if we’re going to address this, we need to secure significantly more funding. These are tough times for all of us, but we’re hoping that this film will help open people’s eyes and encourage even greater generosity to those in greatest need.”

Donations to St Petrock’s Christmas campaign can be made at www.StPetrocksChristmas.org.uk