Blackburn Rovers players have visited a charity, which supports young and at-risk homeless people.

Sam Barnes was joined by 2023 recruits, Leopold Wahlstedt and striker Semir Telalovic, as they visited one of Nightsafe’s safe housing locations in Darwen.

This was ahead of The Big Sleep Out next month, where people will be sleeping outside to raise funds for Nightsafe and Blackburn Rovers Community Trust.

The trio learnt all about why the Big Sleep Out was happening, the positive impact it will make on many young people’s lives, and all about Nightsafe and their commitment to support those in need.

Defender Barnes said: “It was great to meet some of the young men and women and learn about Nightsafe. I enjoyed having a chat and getting to know them.

"A couple of them are huge Blackburn Rovers supporters and it is nice to hear they support the football club.

“The Big Sleep Out is massive to raise awareness. I am from Blackburn and I am aware of the work Nightsafe do and some of the stories you hear about how young people are affected in our area.

“Blackburn Rovers plays a massive part in helping the town and the local community. A few weeks ago I attended the summer camps, and I saw the children enjoying the sessions the Community Trust had put on.”

One of the young people the players met who lives at the house was Blackburn Rovers supporter, Adam.

Adam has followed Rovers all of his life, and he couldn’t hide how much it meant to him to meet Sam, Semir and Leo.

“I loved every single second of it,” said Adam. “I loved meeting the three players and having a chat to them.

"I would really like it if everyone would show their support for the Big Sleep Out. Thank you.”

Nicola Roscoe, operations manager at Nightsafe, said: “I want to say a huge thanks to Semir, Sam and Leo for making a guest appearance and surprising our young people.

“It was an incredible afternoon. The players met the young people, they signed autographs and they had some great conversations.

“The young people showed them around their home and we had the opportunity to talk to the players about what we do at Nightsafe.

“They were overwhelmed with the young people and learning about their stories. It was a truly amazing afternoon and it was great to raise exposure for the Big Sleep Out.”

The Big Sleep Out will take place in less than one month’s time on Friday 17th November at Ewood Park, Riverside Stand from 7pm until 7am the following day.

Participants will spend one night sleeping outside and supporters, community organisations and local businesses are all encouraged to show their support and experience the difficulties homeless people go through each night.

This year, the mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, councillor Parwaiz Akhtar, will be participating in the 2023 Big Sleep Out, with the aim to raise awareness and highlight the important issues surrounding homelessness in the local area.

Participants or anyone who chooses to donate will be raising money for both Nightsafe and Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, to help support the important work both charities to help many people within our community. 

“Both charities do a wonderful and incredible job to support our community,” explained the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen Council.

“I have seen they have provided a number of activities for our community and they both do an excellent job in the sense that Nightsafe are providing accommodation, whereas Blackburn Rovers Community Trust is providing assistance in many different ways to so many people.

“It is important that we look at this problem with the number of people who are homeless. We have to work on helping people, and that is what Nightsafe and Blackburn Rovers Community Trust are doing.”

To make a donation to The Big Sleep Out event, visit: