Due to the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown, Hackney Empire is temporarily closed and the 2020, Belter for the shelter has been cancelled. For the past 6 years the Belter has been a highlight of the Hackney Winter Night Shelter calendar and one of our main fundraising events. Last year almost £12,000 was raised to help fund our work with people experiencing homelessness in Hackney.
Comedian, Stewart Lee, said "For what feels like forever I have helped organise the shelter's annual comedy benefit at the Hackney Empire. We meet the people the shelter has helped and the volunteers who work with them. The impact of its work is immediate and undeniable, and I think the fund-raising night really helps. This year, because of the virus, it is off, and next year, because of the virus, charities will need more help to deal with even bigger problems left in its wake. So, while we are sad 2020 is off, we aim to make the 2021 show an extravaganza."
Hackney Empire which has hosted the Belter since the beginning said “We are saddened not to be able to work with Hackney Winter Night Shelter for this year's A BELTER FOR THE SHELTER. Their fundraising is vital to end homelessness in Hackney and we hope in these difficult times that, if you are able, you will consider making a donation to HWNS”
For people who had tickets for the Belter, it will be a disappointment to miss out on a brilliant night of comedy this year. They will be refunded for the cost of their tickets.
Christina Ball, charity director, said “The Belter and the Hackney Half are our two major fundraising events, and we are waiting to hear about the future of both and when they can be reinstated. We are currently looking at a number of virtual fundraisers so that we can be in a position to continue to meet the growing needs of homeless people over the coming months and years. We’re looking forward to working with our fantastic comedians next year and would like to thank the Hackney Empire for its support during this challenging time.”