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Do you have what it takes to sleep rough? Registration opens for Benjamin Foundation’s Norwich Sleep Out 2017

PUBLISHED: 07:17 16 July 2017 | UPDATED: 07:17 16 July 2017

Charity staff getting ready for the Benjamin Foundation's 2017 Sleep Out at Archant. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Charity staff getting ready for the Benjamin Foundation's 2017 Sleep Out at Archant. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

It is a hardship that very few people will ever have to face.

Charity staff getting ready for the Benjamin Foundation's 2017 Sleep Out at Archant. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Charity staff getting ready for the Benjamin Foundation's 2017 Sleep Out at Archant. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

But for those without a home, they have no choice but to sleep rough on our city’s streets.

Now, people across Norfolk are being challenged to spend one night doing the same in order to raise money for charity.

The Benjamin Foundation’s annual Sleep Out gives people a taste of what it is like for rough sleepers in Norwich.

Those taking part are tasked with braving a cold November night with just a sleeping bag and cardboard mat for comfort.

This year it is being held in the car park of the EDP and Norwich Evening News offices on Rouen Road, on November 17.

Money from the event goes towards supporting the charity’s vital work with young homeless people across Norfolk and Suffolk.

MORE: Norfolk charity has helped thousands of young homeless people

And over the past two years, it has raised £45,000 for the organisation, with more than 160 people taking part.

As well as the event in Norwich, the charity is hosting a second Sleep Out for the first time in Ipswich, at Suffolk County Council’s Constantine House on November 3.

Chis Elliott, the charity’s marketing and fundraising manager, said while the event gives people the chance to experience what it might feel like to be homeless, it does not replicate the real hardships faced by rough sleepers.

But he added: “The event is a great way to build awareness of the issue of homelessness in our region, while raising much-needed funds, which are used to deliver the work we do.

“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.”

MORE: Benjamin Foundation’s supported accommodation helps young people gain independence

Sarah Daniels, director of The RedCat Partnership, has taken part in both Sleep Out events in Norwich.

She said: “The Norwich Sleep Out is not easy. It takes place in November, so you are guaranteed cold, and it is in the city centre, which pretty much guarantees noise, but I would encourage anyone who feels able, to sign up to take part.”

Registration is now open for the sleep out events in Norwich and Ipswich, but spaces are limited.

To register, visit www.benjaminfoundation.co.uk/sleep-out or for more information email chris.elliott@benjaminfoundation.co.uk

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