Ellie Goulding in plea for homeless as she volunteers at charity centre
Pop star Ellie Goulding appealed to people to help break the "stigma" of homelessness as she volunteered at a centre for vulnerable women.
The Love Me Like You Do singer spread some Christmas cheer at the Marylebone Project in central London, of which she became patron last week.
She was spending Christmas Eve evening at the charity's Marylebone base, spending time talking with the women who use its services. She also brought Christmas gifts of essential items.
Goulding, who lives in nearby Paddington, said she had decided to get involved with homelessness after realising the situation "visually seemed to be getting worse", citing problems including the rising cost of housing and cuts to charity funding.
She said: "It's not just about having a roof over your head and somewhere to stay. A lot of these women have lost confidence and it's just getting them back into something they enjoy, something they are good at.
"It's not just about working yourself back up to be in a job it's also about social life, getting confidence again. Because on the street people, especially women can get shouted at, urinated on at times, get stepped over and ignored. To me it's just something I cannot ignore and everyone I meet who's interested in what I do for the homeless I really talk about it and really try and educate people.
"It's that stigma of what a homeless person is - they abuse drugs or abuse alcohol. It's just not true, some people come from very normal backgrounds, very normal situations and something goes wrong. It can happen to all of us."
Last week Goulding linked up with acts including Mumford and Sons and Rudimental for a concert at London's Camden Roundhouse to raise money for another homelessness charity, Streets Of London. It followed a similar event at the Shepherds Bush Empire in December 2014.
The Marylebone Project is a registered social landlord run in partnership by the Church Army and the Portman House Trust. It aims to "work with vulnerable homeless women and to empower them towards independent living".
Mark Russell, the project's chief executive and chairman, said: "Homeless people often feel ignored by the wider society so today is so important. Our clients love Ellie, she is such an amazing friend supporting our work. Ellie is passionate about helping people living with homelessness, and is she is passionate about raising awareness. We are so grateful for her love and support."