Over the last three years, Sleep Out has raised over £90,000, which has been used to help tackle youth homelessness in Norfolk and Suffolk. In that time over 300 individuals have braved a cold November night, armed only with a sleeping bag and cardboard mat, to experience a taste of what it feels to be homeless and to raise money for the charity.
Following this tremendous success, organisers at The Benjamin Foundation are delighted to confirm that they are once again hosting two Sleep Out events – one in Norwich and one in Ipswich.
The Ipswich Sleep Out 2018 will take place on 2 November at Birketts, Providence House, 141-145 Princes Street, in the heart of Ipswich.
The Norwich Sleep Out 2018 will take place on 15 November at the iconic home of the Canaries at Norwich City Football Club, Carrow Road, Norwich.
Chis Elliott, Marketing and Fundraising Manager, said: “We are very grateful to both Birketts and Norwich City Football Club for providing two very prominent venues for this year’s Sleep Out events. Such central locations are important to give those participating the opportunity to see for themselves what it might feel like to be homeless, with the noise, light pollution and general buzz of a busy city or town at night. Whilst it is not the same as the real hardship faced by rough sleepers, it is a great way to build awareness of the issue of homelessness in our region.”
Bookings for the Norwich Sleep Out have been open since March and over 30 people have signed up so far, including individuals and groups from businesses including Anglia DNA, Bidwells and The Red Cat Partnership.
Norwich City legend Grant Holt is urging people to take part this year at the Carrow Road venue he knows so well. "Last year I did my own Sleep Out to raise money for The Benjamin Foundation. Spending a night outside in November certainly makes you think more deeply about homelessness. I’d urge you to take part in the Sleep Out this year and raise money for The Benjamin Foundation so they can prevent more young people locally from ending up on the streets."
The venue for the Ipswich event has just been confirmed and organisers are expecting this to also be extremely popular.
Nigel Farthing, Partner and sponsor of the CSR committee at Birketts, commented “We are very happy to lend our support to The Benjamin Foundation's Sleep Out. The number of people that are homeless across Norfolk and Suffolk is disturbing. Events like this are crucial in order to raise awareness and much-needed funds if we are to try and tackle the problem of homelessness in our region.”
For anyone interested in the concept of the Sleep Out, The Benjamin Foundation is holding a free ‘Sleep Out Social’ event on Wednesday 19th September from 5pm to 7pm at The Rooftop Gardens, Union Building, Rose Lane, Norwich.
Chris Elliott said: “We appreciate that for anyone who has not experienced Sleep Out before, it can be nerve-wracking. So we thought we would hold an event which will give people an opportunity to find out more in a relaxed and informal environment, and meet those who have taken part in the past. If anyone is keen to attend, we simply ask that they let us know at bit.ly/sleepoutsocial or call us on 01603 886932.”
The Norfolk and Suffolk Sleep Out events are part of a national Sleep Out initiative organised by the End Youth Homelessness Campaign, which is committed to helping support the 86,000 young people who find themselves homeless in the UK ever year [source: www.eyh.org.uk]. Chris Elliott explains: “By linking with the End Youth Homelessness Campaign, we are helping to raise awareness of this issue on a national level. Here in Norfolk the Sleep Out events are vital as they raise much-needed funds, which are used to deliver the work we do to tackle youth homelessness in Norfolk and Suffolk. In today’s climate of funding cuts and political uncertainty, fundraising has become more important than ever if we are to continue the work we do in this region.”
For more information email [email protected] or call 01603 886 933.