"I feel like I've been set free."
In this video Jess, one young person who we have helped, explains the impact of our charity.
Sarah and Jane completed their own Sleep Out in 2017.
The number of homeless young people in this country is unknown. End Youth Homelessness estimates the figure to be 86,000 but the truth is nobody knows as there will be young people out there getting by without any support and unknown to any authorities.
Young people can become homeless for lots of reasons. Often this is down to things totally out of their control such as their family breaking up around them.
We work to prevent youth homelessness by supporting young people aged 16-25 in Norfolk and Suffolk who are homeless or at great risk of becoming so.
We have 11 accommodation centres in Norfolk and Suffolk, plus a network of hosts, who have been trained and supported by us to look after a young person in the host's own home.
At any one time, we provide accommodation and support to over 100 vulnerable young people. We give them a stable home and the skills they need, such as budgeting, cooking, career support and education, so they can leave us and forge an independent life.
In 2017, we provided over 40,000 safe nights accommodation for vulnerable young adults. Our work keeps young people off the streets and helps to prevent the local homelessness problem growing.
Do Your Own Sleep Out
Could you spend one night outside so others don't have to?
Do Your Own Sleep Out makes it easy for anyone to understand the important issue of homelessness and take part in a way that suits them.
Our Sleep Out fundraising events take place each November in Norwich and Ipswich and you can see all the details here. These events are open to people aged 18 and over.
In addition we wanted to give people another way to learn about and support our homelessness work so we're offering everyone the chance to ‘Do Your Own Sleep Out'.
As with our main Sleep Out events, doing your own event will not replicate the hardship faced by people who are street homeless. However, we hope it will give you a better understanding of the issue and how we are working to address it.
What does 'Do your own Sleep Out' involve?
It's really flexible so it can be what you want it to be. The main things we'd like you to do are:
Read the Key Facts
We've described homelessness and what our charity does to tackle the issue of youth homelessness in the Key Facts section below.
If you want to ‘Do Your Own Sleep Out' you can decide when, where and who you do it with. You don't need to do it on the same day as our events - any time in November or December is fine. Likewise you choose where and who you do it with. Here are a few ideas:
As a family you could Sleep Out in your garden for a couple of hours in the evening to understand what that feels like in the winter.
If you're part of a group such as cubs, scouts, brownies you could Do Your Own Sleep Out together. Inside or outside, for a few hours or all night, it's up to you.
Maybe you can get some colleagues together and Sleep Out either in the workplace or outside, the choice is yours.
Please read our guidance notes below.
3. Keep In Touch
If you want to ‘Do Your Own Sleep Out' then please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01603 886933.
We'd love to see and share your photos too and you can do this in these ways:
Facebook Search for The Benjamin Foundation
On social media we are using the hashtag #TBFSleepOut
If you'd like to make a donation or raise sponsorship by doing your own Sleep Out that's great - it will help to boost our overall fundraising to help us support more local people.
We have a sponsorship form here if you want to print it off.
To make a donation then you have the following options:
Bank transfer to our account. Sort code: 40-35-06 Account: 01370340 Please put Sleep Out on the reference.
Cheque payable to The Benjamin Foundation and send it to Chris Elliott, The Benjamin Foundation, 27 St Andrews St, Norwich, NR2 4TP.
If you're sleeping outside wrap up with lots of layers and remember a waterproof layer too.
Choose somewhere safe on your own property or where the landowner has agreed you can do it.
Children should only do this with adults present.
If you're sleeping on a hard surface like tarmac or paving then layers of cardboard keep out the cold.