Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge says he is "shocked" that homelessness is a major issue in "our beautiful corner of Bucks" - as he urges people to give up their bed for the night and support a charity's big sleep out.

The Marlow resident has recorded a video in support of Wycombe Homeless Connection's annual sleep out, which returns to All Saints Church in Marlow on November 22 and Adams Park in High Wycombe the day after.

It comes after the charity recorded an "alarming" and "unprecedented" rise in rough sleeping in the town.

In 2018, the national total and the total of rough sleepers for the south east of England declined for the first time since 2010 - but in Wycombe, the total went up by a staggering 71 per cent.

The "depressing" total was over 150. Between April 2018 and March 2019, the charity helped prevent 41 evictions in Wycombe.

In the video supporting the charity's biggest fundraising event of the year, the top chef says: "I’d like you to think about what it’s like to be homeless. Your health suffers, you’ve got nowhere safe to go back home to and daily life is almost impossible.

"I’m shocked to say that homelessness is a significant problem right here in our beautiful corner of Bucks.

"Please sign up to the Wycombe Homeless Connection big sleep out which happens at the end of November.

"Go on, give up your bed for the night and do something wonderful."

This year's sleep out is once again being supported by Dreams - and it is hoped that more than 100 people will swap their beds for cardboard boxes for the event.

Sheena Dykes, WHC chair of trustees said, “We are so grateful to our generous sponsors Dreams, and to the team at Wycombe Wanderers FC for generously opening their doors to our ‘Big Sleepout’ this year. It will be amazing to once more spend the night at this much-loved local sports venue.

"Last year was our first sleepout there, and it was such a fun event – even when the stands were cold and very hard to sleep on.

"We’re planning lots of exciting extra details, so really hope that people will sign up soon to help us raise vital funds to help local homeless people in our town.”

WWFC officials are also getting behind the event again by throwing in a free match ticket for any participant – surely a great incentive for any diehard Blues fan.

Families with children (over 12) will be welcome to join in.

There will also be a big quiz, as well as special prizes for those who raise the most sponsorship. Those who make it to the morning will be rewarded with hot drinks and breakfast.

More information can be found at www.wyhoc.org.uk.

Registration is now open for participants, and places are limited to 150, so readers are encouraged to act fast to secure their chance to help tackle local homelessness.