More than £30,000 raised at Sleep Out

More than £30,000 has already been raised for The Benjamin Foundation, with more money still coming in, following their biggest ever fundraising event.
On Friday, November 17, a record-breaking 125 people braved freezing conditions as they took part in the largest annual Norwich Sleep Out in Norwich.
Chris Elliott, marketing and fundraising manager, said: “We are humbled by the number of people who gave up their Friday night to brave freezing conditions and join us at this year’s Norwich Sleep Out. We are also absolutely delighted at the amount that has already been raised and we would like to thank everyone not only for taking part but for all your hard work in getting friends and family to sponsor you.
“This money will help the vulnerable young adults living with us in practical ways such as providing some essential food items when they arrive with us; helping fund training courses and then buying items like toasters, kettles and crockery when the young people move into their own place.”
The event is part of a national Sleep Out initiative for the End Youth Homelessness campaign. There are 14 Sleep Out events taking place across the UK and the expectation is that over 2000 people will take part and collectively raise over a million pounds. The Sleep Outs aim to give those participating a taste of what it feels like to be homeless, as well as raising much-needed funds to tackle homelessness. All funds raised at the Norwich Sleep Out will go towards the work The Benjamin Foundation does in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Chris said: “In today’s climate of funding cuts and political uncertainty, fundraising has become more important than ever if we are to continue the work we do in this region.”
Martina (Tina) Maguire and Gary Johnson (below) have taken part for all three years of the Norwich Sleep Out. Tina said: “Believe it or not I enjoyed doing it but I would be petrified if I was homeless and sleeping on the street. You realise that cities never sleep.”
Gary explained that he supports the event because 10 years ago his son had mental health issues and was referred to The Benjamin Foundation. He said: “There’s an assumption about homelessness. People don’t look at what is behind it. Sometimes people just need a leg up, some support and a kind word.” Gary’s son is now happily married with a job and a home of his own. He adds : “If it wasn’t for The Benjamin Foundation it could have been a different story. I do this to give back.”
One of the biggest supporters of this year’s Norwich Sleep Out was law firm Mills & Reeve (below left), who brought 27 people, including senior partner Justin Ripman, his wife and his three grown-up children, one of whom travelled from London to take part.

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