UPDATE: Money raised by Mayors’ all-star Liverpool v Manchester DJ Battle hits more than £20,000 to tackle homelessness

An all-star Liverpool v Manchester DJ Battle has now raised more than £20,000 to tackle homelessness.

More than 900 revellers watched the two teams take to the decks led by Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester Mayors Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham.

Watch the audio descriptive version here.

Stars from music, sport, TV and radio – including Craig Charles, Jamie Webster, John Barnes and members of Blossoms – played tracks in front a packed audience at Liverpool’s Camp and Furnace venue.

Singers Rebecca Ferguson and Peter Hooton, and world champion boxer Natasha Jonas completed the line-up for Liverpool, while M People’s Heather Small, former Corrie actress Sally Lindsay, BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Nihal Arthanayake, Olympian Diane Modahl and presenter Matt White were also on the decks for Manchester.

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Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Team Liverpool should take home the victory – after all, we are the undisputed home of British music! Nowhere has achieved more number one hits, secured more weeks in the charts or produced the greatest pop band to ever walk the earth. To put it simply, music is in our DNA.

“Putting our friendly rivalries to one side, I think the real winners on the night were always going to be the incredible charities we’ve been able to support. We’ve been blown away by people’s generosity and those donations will help to make a massive difference to those special organisations who are helping some of the most vulnerable in our society. We know this money isn’t a magic wand, however, this is as much about raising awareness of the wonderful work they do day-in-day-out. It shows what can be achieved when two of the North’s great cities come together for a good cause.”

Who will be crowned the winner of this year’s DJ Battle will be announced on social media in the coming days. Ticket sales and money donated via the DJ Battle’s JustGiving page and by text all goes towards supporting initiatives to tackle homelessness and end the need for rough sleeping with previous events already raising more than £25,000 in total.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said:

“It was great to take on Steve and team Liverpool in their own back yard and put on an incredible show. To see around 1,000 revellers in the crowd, who have all helped to raise money to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness in both of our city-regions, was beyond belief. The amount of money raised has been incredible and will make such a big difference for the Mayor’s Charity and other great initiatives across Greater Manchester and the North-West tackling rough sleeping and homelessness.

“My sincere thanks go to everyone who took part, including our very own Blossoms, Sally Lindsay, Heather Small, Diane Modahl, and more who made the journey to Merseyside, as well as the legends that are Craig Charles and John Barnes.”

You can still donate! Text Battle to 70450 to donate £5, or click here for the Just Giving page

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.

DJ Craig Charles on the decks from the back looking out to the audience

Craig Charles looks out to a packed out Camp and Furnace

In the Liverpool City Region, Mayor Rotheram’s pilot programme Housing First has supported hundreds of local people experiencing the most entrenched homelessness into a home of their own, with 90% sustaining their tenancy thanks to the pioneer approach of the scheme. 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.

Money raised from the DJ Battle will be distributed across the Liverpool City Region to charities and community groups by Community Foundations for Lancashire and Merseyside. 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.

An animated crowd enjoying the music

Up the M62, the funds will go to Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity’s flagship scheme, A Bed Every Night. This pioneering scheme has helped tackle homelessness across the region ever since its peak in 2017. Launched in 2018 by Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, A Bed Every Night provides emergency accommodation for anyone rough sleeping across the city-region, regardless of status. It costs around £30 per night to fund emergency accommodation, supplying people with guaranteed shelter, food and wrap-around support to help move people into more permanent accommodation.

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.

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.

Fran Darlington-Pollock, Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, said:

“The energy and the atmosphere in the room was electric and it was fantastic to see so many people come together to help others. Few people can resist the friendly rivalry between the two city regions and last night was no exception with an amazing night of music and banter. We so appreciate the time and effort that everyone put in at no cost so the charities could benefit at the highest level so thank you!”

Actor, presenter and DJ Craig Charles said:

“I was delighted to be involved. Music brings everyone together and that’s what we saw here tonight. Homelessness is an issue which needs to be tackled and this event will allow charities across both Liverpool and Manchester to support people.”

DJ Craig Charles on the decks

Craig Charles on the decks

Singer Jamie Webster said:

“Who doesn’t love a home crowd, it was fantastic to see everyone enjoying themselves, especially when it’s raising money to tackle homelessness which is such an important cause. Obviously, Liverpool will always be the winner in my eyes, but it was great to see the Mayors come together on such a big issue.”

The Mayors, Steve Rotheram (left) and Andy Burnham (right) welcoming Jamie Webster who is standing in the middle.

Singer Heather Small said:

“It was a privilege to represent Manchester over such an important issue and I hope the event beats last year’s total with the money raised!”

Heather Small holding a microphone and raising her hand waving to the crowd

Heather Small

Actor Sally Lindsay said:

“Homelessness is a growing issue, and a hidden one. It’s not just about rough sleeping as there are many people sofa surfing with friends or family who are still homeless. I hope the DJ Battle raises awareness as well as funds to help people move forward.”

Sally Lindsay and John Barnes facing each other on stage

World champion boxer Natasha Jonas said:

“What a great idea to raise money to help support people experiencing homelessness. I loved being involved in the DJ Battle, the atmosphere was amazing!” 

The Mayors raising hands in victory on the stage

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