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Spend a night in a homeless person's shoes by taking part in a charity sleep out

PUBLISHED: 09:00 31 January 2019

Norwich Sleep Out 2019 will take place at Norwich City's grounds at Carrow Road. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Norwich Sleep Out 2019 will take place at Norwich City's grounds at Carrow Road. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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A sleep out aimed at raising money for the homeless - whilst also raising awareness of the hardship they face - is taking place for the fifth year in a row.

Norwich Sleep Out 2019 will take place at Norwich City's grounds at Carrow Road. Picture: Neil DidsburyNorwich Sleep Out 2019 will take place at Norwich City's grounds at Carrow Road. Picture: Neil Didsbury

After a record-breaking year in 2018, The Benjamin Foundation is hoping more people than ever will join its flagship fundraising event this year in Norwich.

The annual sleep out, which will also celebrate the charity’s 25th anniversary, will take place at Norwich City Football Club’s ground in Carrow Road on Thursday, November 14.

The Benjamin Foundation tackles youth homelessness in Norfolk and aims to keep vulnerable young adults off the streets.

Chris Elliott, marketing and fundraising manager, said: “Whilst we recognise that Sleep Out is not the same as the real hardship faced by rough sleepers it does give those participating the opportunity to see for themselves what it might feel like to be homeless.

Norwich Sleep Out 2019 will take place at Norwich City's grounds at Carrow Road. Picture: Neil DidsburyNorwich Sleep Out 2019 will take place at Norwich City's grounds at Carrow Road. Picture: Neil Didsbury

“In addition, it helps build awareness of the issue of homelessness in our region and raises much-needed funds, which are used to deliver the work we do to tackle youth homelessness in Norfolk and Suffolk.”

Last year, more than 140 people took part in the sleep out raising more than £40,000 - with the Ipswich sleep out - for the charity. To date, Norwich Sleep Out has raised in excess of £130,000.

Over the last four years more than 500 people have braved a cold November night, armed only with a sleeping bag and cardboard mat, to experience a taste of what it feels to be homeless and to raise money for the charity.

James Wright, who has taken part in the sleep out since it first began in 2015, said: “It’s been an ever-growing event, so many different people come to it.

“One of the things you find when you do the sleep out is you know you have people there looking out for you, but when you hear noises there’s a slight sense of trepidation. How many times worse is it for people who are actually on the streets?
“It’s a great thing to do and there’s lots of great conversation to be had with people,” he said. “And it’s in a fantastic location - I’m a season ticket holder.”

To register for Norwich Sleep Out 2019, visit: benjaminfoundation.co.uk/norwich-sleep-out.

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