Over 70 people slept under the stars outside last night to raise money to prevent youth homelessness at a Sleep Out event organised by The Benjamin Foundation.

We were pleased to hold our annual Norwich Sleep Out at Norwich City Football Club on Thursday 20th October. The event challenged people to spend one night sleeping outside so young people don’t have to.

With an estimated 122,000 young people facing homelessness in the UK last year (source: Centrepoint), The Benjamin Foundation provides a home and support to almost 200 young people Norfolk and Suffolk each night.

Sleep Out does not aim to replicate homelessness and what it is like to be lonely, frightened and vulnerable, but it does give participants a small glimpse of some of the challenges homeless people may face, and is an important fundraising event for The Benjamin Foundation.

Our charity, which was established in 1994, supports young people who may not have had the best start in life into successful, independent living by helping them to learn essential life skills, such as cooking and budgeting, as well as supporting their education and career aspirations and helping them to manage their own tenancies as they progress. The Benjamin Foundation also supports the emotional wellbeing of young people and helps to build their resilience and self-esteem. This vital work gives local vulnerable young people hope, opportunity, stability and independence and helps to prevent the local homelessness problem from growing.

The Benjamin Foundation Sleep Out has now raised almost £300,000 since its first event in Norwich in 2015, and the charity is passionate about being able to give more local young people help when they need it most, especially with challenges caused by the pandemic and the cost of living crisis.

Rita Wise was taking part in her first Sleep Out and said: “I like doing things to help. I appreciate how young people might feel and I don’t like to see people with problems. I’m very impressed by the event. Everyone is so friendly.”

Gaia Ferra from Headucate UEA also took part with fellow members from the University’s mental health society. She said: “It’s good we are raising awareness of an aspect of life we might not see at University. I’m proud that I’m challenging myself for just one night. We’re experiencing just a small glimpse but some people have to do this each night.”

Matt Garrod, The Benjamin Foundation Director of Operations says: “Sleep Out is such an important event for our charity. Money raised by supporters enables us to do even more to help young people when they need us the most, supporting them to create the building blocks to successful, independent living and a brighter future. In the current economic climate, this work is needed more than ever.”

The Benjamin Foundation is proud to be the eastern region partner of the End Youth Homelessness (EYH) partnership. Each of the EYH member charities around the UK organise Sleep Out events every Autumn to help support young people to lead successful, independent lives.

Matt continues: “We were so pleased bring our much-loved Sleep Out back to Norwich this year. We would like to say a huge thank you to our hosts, Norwich City Football Club and to all those who supported the event, especially to all of our brilliant participants who stepped out of their comfort zone and slept outside to help more local young people to finally feel hopeful of a better future.”

If you would like to make a contribution to support Sleep Out and The Benjamin Foundation’s work with local young people, please make a donation here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/norwichsleepout22

Quote Marks Left Children arrive at the club and are greeted with warmth and kindness by friendly, approachable staff.

Ofsted, February 2023

Quote Marks Right