Homelessness charity ‘humbled’ after Norwich Sleep Out raises more than £30,000

Mills & Reeve at the Norwich Sleep Out 2017. Picture: The Benjamin Foundation

Mills & Reeve at the Norwich Sleep Out 2017. Picture: The Benjamin Foundation - Credit: The Benjamin Foundation

More than £30,000 has been raised for a charity which helps young homeless people, after a record number braved freezing conditions to give it a boost.

The Benjamin Foundation's annual Sleep Out saw 125 people bed down in the car park of Prospect House, in Rouen Road - home to the Eastern Daily Press and the Norwich Evening News.

Friday night's event gave those taking part a small insight into what it feels like to have to sleep rough.

And the sponsorship money raised boosts the charity, which started in Norfolk in 1994 and has now expanded to Suffolk.

The charity helps give young homeless people the skills needed to live independently, while also providing them with accommodation.

Chris Elliott, from the Benjamin Foundation 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.

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'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 a great way to build awareness of the issue of homelessness in our region, whilst raising much-needed funds, which are used to deliver the work we do to tackle youth homelessness in Norfolk and Suffolk.

'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.'

One of the biggest supporters of this year's Norwich Sleep Out - the third time the event has been held - was law firm Mills & Reeve, who brought 27 people to the event.

Mr Elliott added: 'Our sincere thanks to all those who participated and to Archant for providing the venue to make this year's Sleep Out possible.

'Thanks also to the incredible volunteers, as well as to Jamie Archer of Archers Butchers, who kindly supplied a welcome hot snack during the night.'