Strictly Come Dancing’s Neil Jones reveals he slept on the streets as a teenager before charity saved him

Strictly Come Dancing's Neil Jones has revealed he was forced to sleep on the streets for short periods of time as a teenager.

The 38 year old, who recently denied that he's gay but admitted that his mum wishes he was, took to Instagram to make the incredible announcement as he urged his followers to help raise money for a charity that helps homeless youth.

Sharing a photo of himself wearing a blue hoodie as he sat in a turquoise-coloured sleeping bag, the award-winning dancer started his lengthy post by explaining that while he has been able to buy his own flat recently, others out there are moving from place to place, getting into "unsafe situations".

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He wrote: "As you know during lockdown I’ve been lucky to be able to move into my very own flat," alongside a praying hands emoji.

The star, whose co-star and pal Anton Du Beke's three year old son George was recently rushed to the hospital for an operation, continued: "unfortunately due to COVID-19 many charities have been hit hard and one which was hit hard… [sic]

"@depaul_uk youth homelessness charity who support Vulnerable people who move from place to place, staying on sofas/floors often in unsafe situations facing physical, mental and even sexual abuse and exploitation. ." [sic]

Neil then made the revelation that he was homeless himself and had to sleep rough before a charity helped him find his feet again.

He wrote: "Not many people know but as a teen I found myself at one point sleeping on the streets for a short period but because of a charity like DePaul I was able to find a place to stay."

The professional dancer went on to explain that he's taking part in a new charity campaign to raise money and called for others to join in, too.

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To support DePaul, he asked his fans to "sleep somewhere other than your bed", donate £5 and tag three friends to do the same.

He ended his statement by nominating his estranged wife Katya Jones and Strictly co-star Oti Mabuse as well as The Greatest Dancer stars Michael Danilczuk and Jowita Przystał.

Many of the TV personality's 228,000 followers were quick to praise the star for speaking out about his own experiences.

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One person commented: "You should absolutely speak more about your experiences. Not enough people would read enough. You are aspiring x" [sic]

Another said: "What a kind and inspiring thing to do Neil. I am really glad your own experience was not long lasting and that you got to where you are today xx".

And a third added: "Have already given my donation and gonna sleep downstairs on the living room floor tonight.. Neil you are an inspiration to the world and have the biggest heart ever", alongside a red heart emoji and a black heart emoji.

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