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Iceni Magazine | July 1, 2020

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Rival Clubs Back Local Charity’s Annual Sleep Out

A record-breaking 220 people took part in Norwich Sleep Out 2019

Local charity, The Benjamin Foundation, has announced its annual Sleep Out fundraising events with Norwich City and Ipswich Town Football Clubs hosting this year’s events.

Taking place on Thursday 19th November, the Norwich Sleep Out will be held at Norwich City Football Club, Carrow Road with the Ipswich Sleep Out taking place at Ipswich Town Football Club on Portman Road on 5th November.

The annual Sleep Out fundraising events support The Benjamin Foundation’s work in Norfolk and Suffolk to prevent youth homelessness by inviting people to spend one night sleeping outside so others don’t have to. Money raised through sponsorship helps their work to tackle the homelessness problem locally by providing a home and support to over 100 vulnerable young people aged 16 to 25 every night. The Benjamin Foundation also gives them the skills they need so they can go on to forge independent lives.

Last year’s Sleep Out saw over 250 people take part, across the two events, raising over

£100,000 – a record breaking amount for The Benjamin Foundation and with the support of two of the biggest sporting names in the region, they hope to make Sleep Out 2020 even bigger.

Chris Elliott, Marketing and Fundraising Manager says: “We are delighted that Ipswich Town and Norwich City Football Clubs are both supporting Sleep Out 2020, enabling us to create a unique experience for the people who take part. We are thankful to both clubs for boosting our ambitions to make Sleep Out 2020 the best yet.”

Participants in Norwich Sleep Out 2019

Participants in Norwich Sleep Out 2019

The Benjamin Foundation also supports the education and career aspirations of the young people they support. This work helps to keep them off the streets to prevent the local homelessness problem growing. Money raised from previous Sleep Out events has helped young people to purchase items such as clothing for job interviews, bikes to get to college or work, workwear, and counselling to name just a few.

Joe* has been living in one of The Benjamin Foundation’s accommodation centres since August 2019 aged just 17 following a breakdown in family relationships. Supported by the charity, he has developed in confidence and independent living skills and will soon be moving into a flat. Previously at risk of homelessness, he has been able to use some of the money raised from Sleep Out to purchase furniture for his new home.

“The future is looking a lot brighter now The Benjamin Foundation has given me the tools to go forward in life and I feel really blessed to have the staff help me. They are people who care about me and help with all my problems.” Joe says.

Former Norwich City footballer, Darren Huckerby says: “I’m pleased to be taking part in my second Sleep Out to support The Benjamin Foundation. Last year’s event was an eye- opening experience, which I was proud to be a part of. I would encourage fans of Norwich City to sign up for this year’s Sleep Out to support The Benjamin Foundation in their great work to prevent youth homelessness locally.”

Chris Elliott concludes: “We are now calling individuals and businesses who want to stop more local, vulnerable young people from ending up on the streets to sign up for Sleep Out 2020.”

To register for Norwich Sleep Out 2020, please visit: https://benjaminfoundation.co.uk/event/norwich-sleep-out-2020/

*Name has been changed.


 

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