Following a record-breaking event in 2018, our flagship fundraising event will return to Norwich City Football Club, Carrow Road on Thursday 14th November 2019.
We help people across Norfolk and Suffolk to deal with some of the challenges that life throws at them. Tackling youth homelessness is one of those issues and every night we provide a home and support to over 100 vulnerable young adults in our region, giving them a stable home and providing them with the skills they need so they can leave us to forge an independent life.
We’re the eastern region partner of the End Youth Homelessness partnership and each of the member charities around the UK organise Sleep Out events in November. There are 103,000 homeless young people (source: eyh.org.uk) and money raised helps prevent more young people ending up on the streets.
So far Sleep Out has raised in excess of £130,000 for our charity and this money has been used to help tackle youth homelessness in Norfolk, keeping vulnerable young adults off the streets. Over the last four years over 500 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 us through gaining sponsorship.
Chris Elliott explains why Sleep Out is so important: “Whilst we recognise that Sleep Out is not the same as the real hardship faced by rough sleepers it does give those participating the opportunity to see for themselves what it might feel like to be homeless. In addition, it helps build awareness of the issue of homelessness in our region and raises much-needed funds, which are used to deliver the work we do to tackle youth homelessness in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Our Sleep Outs in Norwich and Ipswich have grown in the last four years and are now the biggest fundraising events we do annually. In an economic climate where funding cuts and political uncertainty are ever more prevalent, fundraising is critical if we are to continue the work we do in this region, so we urge people to get involved if they can. We don’t just need people to Sleep Out – we are always looking for volunteers to help make the event possible – and we would love to celebrate our 25th anniversary by making this the biggest Sleep Out yet!”
Norwich City player Paul McVeigh took part in Sleep Out 2018 and he said: “I couldn’t believe some of the statistics about young homeless people in the UK. It’s scary and sad and Sleep Out is a fraction of what people actually go through. I’ve heard this is the biggest turn out for The Benjamin Foundation’s Sleep Out yet and I’m proud to be part of it.”
Christy Johansen, who joined her colleagues from Bidwells for her first ever Sleep Out said: “It’s an eye-opening experience – I can’t imagine having to do this day in, day out. The best thing is seeing so many people taking part.”
Something which stood out from the other nurseries is how keen staff are to try new things and develop the facilities and activities.