December 11 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 30, 2013
Young people from churches and youth groups across Norfolk slept out under the stars in cardboard shelters to draw attention to the issue of homelessness.
A group of around 20 young people and helpers took part in the Youth Sleep Easy event on Friday outside the YMCA Norfolk sports centre at Trowse, near Norwich.
It was organised by YMCA Norfolk, the Diocese of Norwich and Norwich Youth for Christ, and raised money to help tackle the problem of homelessness across Norfolk.
The young people built cardboard shelters and played games and activities aimed at giving them an insight into what it is like to be a homeless young person.
There were representatives from Taverham Evangelical Church, Oak Grove, City Church, King’s Community Church, TLC, St Luke’s Norwich, St Andrew’s Eaton and Mulbarton parish church.
One of the teenagers involved, Rob, who did not wish to give his surname, was with a group from Norwich Youth for Christ.
He said: “I am here to show that we care about homelessness, that it is a real problem and that it needs to be eradicated.”
YMCA communications and fundraising manager Susie Knights said: “The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of homelessness across Norfolk and funds for the work of YMCA Norfolk in addressing the issue.
“It will also help inform a new generation of supporters about the work we do and why we do it and give them a bit of an understanding about what it might be like living on the streets.”
Diocese of Norwich youth and families development manager and YMCA Norfolk trustee Mark Heybourne said it was really important that young people had an awareness of homelessness.
He added: “It is a real issue for so many who often, through no fault of their own, through family circumstance or needing to move for education or work, can find themselves in very difficult positions, sometimes sleeping rough, being vulnerably housed or not sure long term where they are going to be staying.”
YMCA Norfolk provides a safe home and support for over 260 young people every night across the county.
YMCA Norfolk’s next Sleep Easy event will be open to all and takes place on February 1 at Carrow Park next to Norwich City’s stadium.