Sam Fender plays Newcastle gig for homeless charity

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Brian Burridge and Sam FenderImage source, BRIAN BURRIDGE
Image caption,
North East Homeless founder Brian Burridge said the musician had helped raise its profile

The founder of a homeless charity said he was "blown away" Sam Fender will perform a gig to raise funds for it.

The North Shields singer-songwriter became patron of North East Homeless after calling into the centre to practise the piano during lockdown.

Tuesday's gig for 1,700 fans at Newcastle City Hall attracted strong demand for the prize draw.

All proceeds will go to the charity, which offers homeless people food, training and support

Charity founder Brian Burridge said: "Sam is a good lad who wanted to do his bit and organised this, we're blown away.

"During lockdown he just wanted somewhere to practise his piano skills, so he used to come here and he became a friend, so after lockdown I asked him to be the charity's patron and he said yes.

"He's now raising our profile, raising funds and he's just a good lad, there's no airs and graces about him."

Image source, Brian Burridge
Image caption,
Charity founder Brian Burridge said the centre on the Fish Quay is open to everyone, even famous musicians

Mr Burridge said he hoped money raised will allow the charity, which has a café and social supermarket, to expand and buy a lift to become more accessible.

"It's exciting and daunting I didn't think we'd grow to be this big," he said.

"We've got 23 people working with us now and we've got a lot of responsibility and we're taking some of our staff to the gig tonight to say thank you."

Image source, PA Media/Ian West
Image caption,
The North Shields indie rocker took best rock/alternative singer at the Brits in February 2022

When Fender won a Brit Award earlier this year for best rock/alternative singer he dedicated it to the charity, which is based on the Fish Quay in North Shields.

He said it would join his first Brit award, which was turned into a quirky beer hand pull at his local pub.

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