An abstract portrait of Neil Jones, merging photos of him brightly lit vs dark and shadowed to convey a 'before and after' message about homelessness.

Strictly star Neil Jones among famous faces sharing their breakthrough moments

5 January 2023

  • Author: Megan Evans, Media Officer
  • Reading time: 2 minutes

Strictly Come Dancing’s Neil Jones, Virtual Pub Quizmaster Jay Flynn, and graffiti artist Opake shared their inspiring stories of overcoming homelessness for our new social media campaign #MyBreakthrough. 

Content creator and comedian Fats Timbo also joined the line-up, along with young people supported by the charity and Centrepoint staff, who all explained how they overcame challenges of their past.

The digital campaign #MyBreakthrough demonstrates that anyone can face homelessness, but everyone can also leave it behind them if they have access to the right support. 

Before Neil Jones became a World Champion dancer and a BBC Strictly regular, he found himself homeless when he travelled to Finland at 16 to dance, and had no money to live off. Neil was embarrassed to be sleeping on the streets and even hid this from his mum, whom he only told a couple of years ago. 

Neil told Centrepoint his breakthrough moment was thanks to a local Finnish charity who found him stable accommodation, which helped him focus on dancing and move on with his life.

Neil shared his experiences for the campaign: “I found myself even sleeping outside of where I was rehearsing, then I’d get changed and take a shower there so no one would ever know. I feel like the low time of my life was what pushed me and drove me to actually make everything happen. That’s a major thing.”