Neil told his Instagram followers about his history in a post about a new campaign for a charity organisation that helps homeless youth.
“As you know during lockdown I’ve been lucky to be able to move into my very own flat,” he wrote. “Unfortunately due to Covid-19 many charities have been hit hard and one which was hit hard [is Depaul UK, a] 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.
“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 award-winning dancer went on to say that Depaul is “under strain” due to the pandemic, urging his followers to join him in a new charity initiative that sees people sleeping “somewhere other than your bed” for one night, donating £5 to Depaul and then nominating three friends to do the same.
Neil and his dancing partner Katya joined Strictly in 2016, but he only landed a celebrity partner for the first time last year, finishing in fifth place with footballer Alex Scott.
He and Katya announced last year that they had split up after six years of marriage, having been together for five years before tying the knot.
To report a rough sleeper call 0300 500 0914 or visit Streetlink