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The charity helping young, vulunerable people in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 12:15 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:15 24 September 2019

The sleep out in Norwich for the Benjamin Foundation  Picture: The Benjamin Foundation

The sleep out in Norwich for the Benjamin Foundation Picture: The Benjamin Foundation

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Find out more about The Benjamin Foundation at the charity's open day next month.

The Benjamin Foundation's butterflies Picture: The Benjamin FoundationThe Benjamin Foundation's butterflies Picture: The Benjamin Foundation

Whether it's the prevention of youth homelessness, helping families to build stronger relationships or providing emotional wellbeing support and positive activities for young people with limited opportunities in life, the work of The Bengamin Foundation brings hope, opportunity, stability and independence to the people it supports.

The charity has marked its 25th milestone in a very special way with its distinctive butterfly logo providing the inspiration behind 'Flight for Youth', an art installation of commemorative ceramic butterfly keepsakes, which were on display at The Assembly House and Holkham Hall during the summer.

Now, it's inviting the public to continue the celebrations by being part of their 25th Anniversary event next month.

Taking place at The Forum in Norwich on Sunday, October 27 (10am to 4pm), The Benjamin Foundation Family Fun Day will have plenty to keep the whole family entertained, with activities including giant board games, music, entertainment and face painting. Graphic illustrator Rebecca Osbourne will also be using her talents to create a special visual record of the day, and there will also be the chance to meet local businesses and organisations who have supported the charity in this special year, including headline sponsors Norwich High School for Girls.

The Benjamin Foundation supports young people  Picture: The Benjamin FoundationThe Benjamin Foundation supports young people Picture: The Benjamin Foundation

The fun and interactive day promises lots to see and so, including the opportunity to get creative and paint your own celebration ceramic butterfly to take home as a keepsake - and with Christmas just around the corner it's the ideal opportunity to create a unique gift for somebody special.

Colin Lang MBE, special projects manager, explains: "When planning how to mark our anniversary we decided that it must be something that anyone could be a part of. Our Family Fun Day is the ideal opportunity for local people and the general community, including the incredible businesses who have helped make our 25th anniversary celebrations possible through sponsorship and support, to celebrate with us. We encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the day with us!"

In addition, throughout the day The Benjamin Foundation team will be on hand to explain more about the work of the charity and the important part it plays in our local community. With a focus on preventing youth homelessness, providing childcare, emotional wellbeing support and services for young people, such as youth clubs, support for young carers and positive activities, staff are available to discuss local provision and support throughout the day.

'The best place I could be'

The Benjamin Foundation wants to end youth homelessness and they are tackling the problem locally by providing a home and support to over 100 vulnerable young people every night by giving them a safe and stable home and the skills they need so they can forge an independent life.

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Hannah*, aged 16, has been living in one of the charity's accommodation centres in Norfolk for three months following a period in foster care.

"It feels welcoming. I have a connection with staff; I ask more questions and feel more relaxed here. I've learned how to wash up, use a washing machine, and cook - I'd never cooked before." Hannah explains.

"Before coming here, I couldn't handle myself. I was going off the rails all the time and I was very angry. But since being here, I've started to recognise things about myself, like my emotions and I have learned to talk about them with staff members." She says.

Hannah continues: "This is the best place I could be - I'd rather be here than anywhere else."

*Name has been changed.

Spend one night outside so others don't have to

The support of local people and businesses is key to the frontline work that The Benjamin Foundation delivers. Sleep Out, their annual fundraising event, is the ideal opportunity to make an impact on the charity's work to prevent local youth homelessness.

Marketing and fundraising manager, Chris Elliott, explains: "With all sources of funding under pressure, any fundraising we receive can make a real difference and allow us to continue to support local people. Our teams are working every single day of the year to support people who need extra help. Norwich Sleep Out 2019 is the perfect opportunity for individuals, friends and groups of colleagues to connect with our cause and help local young people who are going through tough times."

Norwich Sleep Out takes place at Norwich City Football Club on Thursday, November 14. If you'd like to challenge yourself to spend one night outside so others don't have to, register here.

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