Charlotte Church's Christmas programme urges support for homeless people

Singer Charlotte Church has released a special Christmas programme, encouraging people to do more to help the homeless around the festive season.

In the short documentary, broadcast on BBC iPlayer on Thursday, the mother-of-two visits organisations in her home town of Cardiff, who are using music to support people living on the streets.

She tells viewers: “It’s quite easy sometimes to see someone on the street and judge them, maybe feel superior and blame it on issues of drug abuse.

“But a lot of these people have been failed by the system far further along the line.

“That’s something, as a society, we need to look at, to help people earlier so they don’t fall into the vicious cycle of homelessness.”

The star, 30, explains that the number of people sleeping rough in the city has doubled in the last 12 months, while at least 150,000 young people alone seek help for homelessness every year across the UK.

She visits a musical outreach programme offering homeless people the chance to play, record and learn music.

Rapper Alex, who fled a violent background as a teenager, tells her: “It helps me get my feelings out without getting angry and violent.

“Now I write it down on a piece of paper, turn it into a lyric, put it in a box and take it out when I need it.

“There are some bad people down there, but not all of us.

“I want people to know me not for the homeless person I was, but for the musician I will become one day.”

Sarah, who leads a community choir she joined as a homeless woman, adds: “Homeless people are just people like everyone else.

“I never thought that I would have ended up homeless, but it happened, and it doesn’t make you a bad person, it just means you’ve got problems and you need help.”

Charlotte also visits a part-time delivery driver who devotes the rest of his week to cooking and delivering hot meals and essentials to people on the streets, with the help of volunteer students.

“It’s beautiful to see these people are being treated with humanity and love and care, to know they are not completely alone,” she tells viewers.

“I would encourage everybody out there who has been moved by this to go out into the community and find a hostel and volunteer.

“The projects that I have seen has made me understand that a little bit of love, care and support – and a bit of music and singing – that things can get better and people can put themselves back on their own two feet.”

The exclusive programme will be available on BBC iPlayer, from 7pm on Thursday.

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