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Twenty Seven Brave People Sleep Out in Ipswich

On Friday 3rd November, 27 people braved wet and cold conditions as they tackled the first Ipswich Sleep Out. We are delighted to announce that their fundraising has already exceeded £6,000.
We organised the Ipswich event as part of a national Sleep Out initiative for the End Youth Homelessness campaign. There are 14 Sleep Out events taking place across the UK and the expectation is that over 2000 people will take part and collectively raise over a million pounds. The Sleep Outs aim to give those participating a taste of what it feels like to be homeless, as well as raising much-needed funds to tackle homelessness. All funds raised at the Ipswich Sleep Out will go towards our work in Suffolk and Norfolk.   
Chis Elliott, Marketing and Fundraising Manager, explains:
“We were really pleased to be able to bring the Sleep Out to Ipswich this year. We have hosted a Norwich Sleep Out for the last two years and this has been hugely successful, with over 180 individuals taking part and raising £45,000. With the support services we offer expanding more and more into Suffolk we felt it was important to extend this flagship event to Ipswich. We have been delighted by the enthusiasm it has received.” 
As regional partner for the End Youth Homelessness campaign, we are committed to helping support the 83,000 young people who find themselves homeless in the UK ever year [source:]. Homelessness is one of our key areas of work and, at any one time, we provide a home and support to over 100 young people in Norfolk and Suffolk.   
Whilst it is not meant to be a comparison to the life a homeless person leads, or replicate the hardship faced by those who are homeless, the Sleep Out is an important event for The Benjamin Foundation, as it is an opportunity to bring to life the challenges of sleeping outside and highlight the issue of homelessness for the region.  
Here is what some of those who participated had to say about the event:-  
"I'm a Youth Worker and some people I work with have faced homelessness. There are a lot of reasons why people are at risk of homelessness - it's not always clear cut. I wanted to experience it and do what I can to help."  Hannah Needle. 
"I liked the idea of Sleep Out. I'm actually looking forward to the prospect of rain- it's all part of the experience. I'm going home tomorrow, but there are people who face this every night." Neill Ives 
"It's a great cause. There comes a time when you just need to do stuff to help. It's out of my comfort zone but I think I'll be OK. I might ache tomorrow though! The briefing was really useful to help understand the issues." Alastair McCartney. 
"We're giving up our beds for one night. Other people have to do it 365 days a year. It's hard to give up home comforts, but it's a different experience and it has helped me to understand that young people may struggle to find somewhere warm and safe." Joanne Dove.  
Chris Elliott added. “We are absolutely delighted that the event has already exceeded a fundraising total of £6,000 and we still have some sponsorship money which is being collected, so this figure is set to increase. Every penny helps us do our work in Suffolk and Norfolk including tackling homelessness.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Suffolk County Council and Vertas for providing the venue for this year’s Sleep Out at Constantine House in Ipswich. We would also like to say a huge thanks to everyone who took part and offered their support on the night, which made this important event possible.”  

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