Craig Charles joins all-star line-up for Mayors’ DJ Battle to tackle homelessness

Actor and DJ Craig Charles has joined an all-star line-up for Mayor Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham’s Liverpool v Manchester DJ Battle to raise funds for homelessness charities.

The former Red Dwarf and Coronation Street star will take to the decks at Liverpool’s Camp and Furnace venue on Friday, 2 February.

The BBC Radio 6 Music presenter joins singing stars Jamie Webster, Rebecca Ferguson, and Peter Hooton and England football legends John Barnes and Peter Reid in Mayor Rotheram’s Liverpool City Region team.

Performing DJ sets on the Manchester side are M People’s Heather Small, former Corrie actress Sally Lindsay, BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Nihal Arthanayake, and presenter Matt White.

Craig has presented The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show on BBC radio since 2002 and regularly DJs at clubs and festivals in the UK and abroad.

The DJ Battle is the third time Mayors Rotheram and Burnham have faced each other on the decks as they raise money for initiatives in Manchester and the Liverpool City Region to tackle homelessness and end the need for rough sleeping.

Their first clash took place online during the pandemic with a follow-up in-person event in Manchester last December, which raised over £25,000 and won ‘Leading Live Event of the Year’ at the 2023 This is Manchester Awards.

Early-bird tickets for the February fixture are now available with people urged to follow the charities’ and the Mayors’ social media accounts for further information.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said, “I’m really looking forward to welcoming Andy and the rest of the Greater Manchester contingent to Liverpool – or the UK’s cultural capital as I like to call it! We’ve shown time and again that nowhere can throw a party quite like our area and we’ve got a fantastic line-up of famous faces joining us on stage for what promises to be an evening full of fun and great music.

“Most importantly though, it’s all in aid of a cause that’s very close to all our hearts. Together, we’re showing that the North West will always stand united in support of those who need it most.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester said, “We’re coming back but this time we’re heading over to Liverpool. I was so proud of what we achieved with our DJ Battle last year, using the power of music and friendly rivalry to unite behind one powerful message, that homelessness has no place in Greater Manchester. It’s going to be bigger and better this time round, as we spread the fundraising and ramp up the noise over in Liverpool.”

The work of the Mayors is all part of a concerted and creative effort to tackle the challenge of homelessness across the regions. The current financial crisis is seeing communities facing increasingly tough challenges.

In the Liverpool City Region, Mayor Rotheram is piloting a pioneering new approach to tackling homelessness. Housing First has helped hundreds of local people out of homelessness and into a home of their own, with 90% sustaining their tenancy. This is alongside the region’s Assertive Outreach Service which has supported hundreds of people who were rough sleeping or at risk of doing so, helping them into temporary accommodation and providing support around physical and mental health.

Community Foundations for Lancashire and Merseyside distributes funds to charities and community groups in the Liverpool City Region. Their knowledge of the sector allows them to find and reach charities in their community, including lesser-known charities operating at a grass-roots level; ensuring charitable awards create lasting change.

Rae Brooke, Chief Executive of Community Foundations for Lancashire and Merseyside, said, “We’re so pleased to be working with Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity for DJ Battle round 2! It was clearly such a great night last time, and the funds raised were phenomenal. This year, it will be even better and I’m delighted that we can be part of it.”

Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity’s A Bed Every Night has helped tackle homelessness across the region ever since its peak in 2017. Since 2020 it’s helped nearly 6,000 people, with 2,910 people supported in the last year alone. Currently, there are 658 people in A Bed Every Night who would otherwise be at risk of rough sleeping.

The Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity remain resolute that they can address the challenges against increasing adversity, with campaigns, events and challenges that have to date raised millions.

Tim Heatley, Chair of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, said, “The last DJ battle was epic. It ramped up the friendly rivalry between the two city regions and saw the Mayors and region’s cheerleaders all giving up their time for a common goal. Music has the power to unite communities and these head-to-heads have shown the willingness of music-lovers to put their hand in their pockets, support a worthy cause and have a great night in the while doing so. We’re getting warned up for Liverpool and can’t wait to bring the party to the city.”

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