20 staff to brave a winter’s night sleeping rough

Twenty staff who help provide affordable homes for those in need are sleeping rough for one night to raise awareness of homelessness and fundraise for the Norfolk and Suffolk charity Benjamin Foundation.

The group from Victory Housing Trust, based in North Walsham, will be among nearly 100 people braving the winter cold at the car park of EDP and North Norfolk News publisher, Archant.

This is the third year the charity has organised a sleep out – and the first time that a large group from Victory has opted to take part.

Victory chief executive John Archibald, who is one of those who will be swapping his bed for a sleeping bag on the hard tarmac, said: “We have a good relationship with The Benjamin Foundation, and are very supportive of the work they do.

“Given that at Victory we are all about providing affordable homes for people who need them, lending our support to a great initiative which is all about highlighting the problem of homelessness seemed very appropriate.

“I am proud that so many Victory staff volunteered to take part, that we are the biggest group so far to have signed up for the sleep out. It will help us all understand some of the issues that homeless people are faced with, as well as raising money for a local charity which is doing great work to tackle the problem.”

Chris Elliott, marketing and fundraising manager for The Benjamin Foundation, said, “We are delighted that such a big group of staff at Victory are taking part in what we hope will be our biggest sleep out event yet.

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“Although one night spent in the open can never compare to the life that a homeless person lives, nor replicate the hardship faced by those who are homeless, it does bring to life the challenges of sleeping outside.”

The sleep out takes place on Friday, November 17 at Archant, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich. Anyone wanting to take part can still register to do so, at www.benjaminfoundation.co.uk/sleep-out. The charity is also organising a similar event in Ipswich on Friday, November 3.