To gain vital income, we are asking the local community to rally round in a new virtual event where participants stay up through the night in support of their work to tackle youth homelessness.

Taking place on Friday 9th October, STAY:UP challenges people to stay awake for one night, raising money to help local, vulnerable young people who haven’t had the best start in life.

STAY:UP is a joint initiative with End Youth Homelessness, a UK wide network of charities joining forces to tackle youth homelessness. So local participants can be a part of a national event from the safety of their own home.

Sadly, The Benjamin Foundation’s much-loved annual Sleep Out events are unable to take place this year, but the need for fundraising and support is more important than ever.

Matt Garrod, Director of Operations explains: “For the last 5 years, we’ve asked supporters of The Benjamin Foundation to Sleep Out to help our local work to prevent youth homelessness. In 2019 alone, our flagship fundraising events in Norwich and Ipswich raised over £110,000, a record-breaking amount for our charity, to help our work with local vulnerable young people, giving them safe and stable accommodation and helping them to take their next steps to successful independent lives.”

“2020 is different. Sleep Out in the usual format isn’t possible this year, which has potential to have a huge impact on our charity’s income. Therefore, we are pleased to collaborate with End Youth Homelessness to bring STAY:UP to Norfolk and Suffolk and we urge local people and businesses to back the event to continue to help local young people.”

The Benjamin Foundation offers supported accommodation services across Norfolk and Suffolk, helping young people aged 16-25. Charlotte, 21, is one young person currently receiving support and a safe place to live:

“Living in a 24-hour place like this is so helpful. You’ve got everything, you’ve got support. I couldn’t be happier. I’ve got the confidence now to go out and do something and try to achieve something. With people helping, we can get into employment and get the things that we need. They don’t realise how much us young adults are thankful for that.”

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors, a Norfolk based law firm and long term supporter of The Benjamin Foundation, is headline sponsor of our first STAY:UP challenge. Louis Hilldrup-Boorman, Marketing Manager at Clapham & Collinge Solicitors said: “It’s been a challenging six months for the charity sector, with demand increasing for many social care charities yet fundraising abilities stopped almost completely. As a firm we take Corporate Social Responsibility very seriously, so we’re delighted to sponsor The Benjamin Foundation’s first virtual STAY:UP challenge and do our bit to help tackle youth homelessness in our community.”

On the night itself The Benjamin Foundation will be creating an online community and a programme of fun, interactive activities on the hour, every hour, to provide motivation throughout the challenge. Registration is via The Benjamin Foundation website and costs just £5 per household, with participants requested to aim to raise £100 in sponsorship for their STAY:UP challenge.

Matt concludes: “STAY:UP is a great way to fundraise in a safe and socially distanced way. We hope that our local communities are ‘Up for the Night’ to help end youth homelessness.”

To register for STAY:UP, visit https://benjaminfoundation.co.uk/event/stayup/

Our visits to Rose Meadow Care Home mix the generations and it really works. Everybody looks forward to it and it builds links within our community.

Town Tots and Kidzone staff member

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