Business and community leaders have signed up for a charity fundraiser that will see them sleep rough for a night.

Ten Birmingham councillors, John Lewis managing director Andy Street and a team from Birmingham Post publisher BPM Media are among those registered to take part in the St Basils 25th Big SleepOut on Friday.

They will sleep outside, in a cardboard box, in a Digbeth car park alongside scores of other local people keen to help prevent youth homelessness in Birmingham.

This event, sponsored by local box maker Jaffabox, aids St Basils' homeless prevention and support services.

Coun Sharon Thompson (Lab Soho) is among the councillors taking part and was herself a resident of St Basils in the late 1990s.

She said: "Homeless young people need opportunities to create a more positive mindset that shows them they can do things. St Basils can offer a lot of things but for that to happen we need society to invest in young people."

St Basils helps 4,000 young people per year with advice and prevention services, accommodation, support and learning, skills and work services.

The charity is reliant on donations from the general public and income from fundraising events to provide this support to their 414 young residents.

One of the longest-running events of its kind, this year's St Basils Big SleepOut is aiming to have 414 participants to match place for place the number of vulnerable young people staying with St Basils that very same night.

Coun Thompson will be joined by fellow councillors Anita Ward, Mick Brown, Jess Philips, Kerry Jenkins, Claire Spencer, Zafar Iqbal, Mohammed Idress, John Cotton and Andy Cartwright, along with Mr Street, chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.

Coun Cotton said: "It's a sad and shocking fact that the number of people rough sleeping has shot up across the country. We’ve got to tackle the root causes and campaign for change.

"That's why I'm joining the Big Sleep Out and backing the fantastic work that St. Basils do, day in, day out, to support vulnerable young people in our community."

The group, calling themselves "Brummies4StBasils, are looking for sponsors. Visit: to sponsor them.