UK & World News

  • 20 November 2012, 5:59

Fund-Raising Ball For Amy Winehouse Charity

A foundation created in memory of singer Amy Winehouse to help disadvantaged young people is holding its first major fundraising event.

The Amy Winehouse Foundation Ball at The Dorchester hotel will feature performances from Jamie Cullum, Matt Goss and Tyler James.

The organisation has already donated thousands of pounds to charities including the Pilion Trust Crashpad in London.

The service provides a bed for homeless young people during the winter months, as well as giving them support and advice.

Mitch Winehouse told Sky News he had talked to Amy about how to help needy youngsters, but it was only since her death that he had been able to do something about it.

"We're just really carrying on the work she was starting. She was particularly concerned with homeless people as well.

"There was this young lady walking around in Amy's house and I said 'Amy who's this young girl?' and she said 'Dad she's homeless I'm looking after her'.

"So she lived with Amy for about six months, so it's not an enormous leap for us to work with children, disadvantaged young people and homeless young people as well."

The Crashpad is a last resort for many with nowhere else to go. It only has space for around 15 people a night, and last Christmas 106 young people came through the doors.

Daniel Shovlin slept there last winter. When he left, volunteers helped him and the other residents to find somewhere more permanent to live. One year later and they are still helping him.

"The first time I got kicked out all I had - and this was last Christmas when it was really cold - all I had on was a t-shirt and trousers and I was like 'what am I going to do?'

"It was freezing, it was a crazy time. Luckily for me I wasn't on the streets for too long because I found this place."

Savas Panas, who runs the Pilion Trust, told Sky News they always have more people needing help than they can cope with.

"Over the last winter period when the snow came we were so inundated," she said.

"We had 20 in and we were still having to buy bus passes and write notes to the transport police to allow them to sleep on the buses for one or two days while we tried to move people out of here to bring other ones in."