This year’s Download Festival headliners Metallica have donated £40,000 to a charity which helps rough sleepers in Leicester.
The US rock superstars have made the donation to Help the Homeless via their charitable foundation, All Within My Hands. Help the Homeless said the cash would be a lifeline to some of the most vulnerable people in Leicester.
Help the Homeless founder Arif Voraji said he had been surprised by the donation: “I started following their foundation on social media a couple of years ago and flagging our work but that was it.
“Then I got an email from them which said they were playing at Download, just down the road at Castle Donington, and they wanted to support local charities.
“It was amazing, and I was a bit stunned. It’s come at the perfect time as things were looking patchy.
“We’ve seen a massive drop in donations from the public and donations from corporations, but at the same time, we’ve seen an increase in demand.”
He added: “We’ve seen a 100% increase in demand for our food bank and our other food services and it’s not just individuals coming to us, it’s families too. “This money is a lifeline for really vulnerable people.
“It will help us to keep doing what we’re doing and help not only homeless people but others who are struggling, people in recovery, people who have just moved into new accommodation.
“But it will also help us with the day-to-day costs of running the charity and just keep the lights on.”
Metallica’s All Within My Hands foundation posted on social media saying: “This grant will help Help the Homeless in its goal to provide relief from homelessness by gaining insight from those most at risk, and by working in complement with other service-providing organizations, all while fostering a platform for empowerment and independence for those in need.”
The band, headed by founding members James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, and its management team launched the foundation in 2017 to give a proportion of its ticket sales to local and national charities.
It has since supported dozens of food banks across the world.