A musician is attempting to break the record for the world’s longest busking in Kingston next week.
Laurie Wright, 29, will be playing for 27 hours, starting on 2nd December, in an attempt to break the 26 hours World Records of Music, LLC record, held by an American musician.
This comes after two Kingston homeless people have died on the streets in the last 16 days.
The profits from his charity Christmas single ‘Cold Turkey on Christmas Day’ will go to Shelter and Young Minds, charities close to his heart, given his past struggles with homelessness and addiction.
Wright said: “A lot of homeless people are addicts, and addiction is a mental health issue that needs to be tackled with compassion.
“Obviously, the homeless need to be housed. How could you tell someone to pull their socks up when they haven’t got any socks?
“I wanted to give back in some way for all that I have taken over the years, and it being so close to my heart I think it’s important to give back as a way of helping others.”
Wright, who is one year sober today, said he was homeless on and off for eight years, primarily in Kingston, and that his addiction to alcohol and drugs were closely tied to this.
Kingston Council secured £1.5m to help provide accommodation for rough sleepers in the borough.
Councillor Emily Davey, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “This has been a real and devastating situation for many people in the darkest of times and we are prepared for the situation to become more challenging during the winter months.”
Matt Hatton, CEO of Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness, said: “Our ultimate ambition is to eliminate rough sleeping in Kingston for good. This will only be achieved through positive partnership working and community support.”
Wright has been shut down before by police due to the large crowds that gathered, causing social distancing concerns.
This time, he will be selling face masks, limiting advertising, and will only be using an acoustic guitar, in order to avoid being shut down before he breaks the record.