Seventy people sleep rough in Norwich to highlight youth homelessness

Hardy folk ready for the charity Sleep Out 2015 at Clapham and Collinge solicitors car park, in aid

Hardy folk ready for the charity Sleep Out 2015 at Clapham and Collinge solicitors car park, in aid of the Benjamin Foundation and helping to raise awareness of youth homelessness. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

Seventy people braved a night sleeping under the stars to raise awareness of youth homelessness.

Norwich-based charity The Benjamin Foundation, took part in the Sleep Out into the early hours of this morning – joining around 2,000 people who bedded down at 13 such events across the country.

Snuggled up in sleeping bags, with woolly hats pulled over their eyes and scarves wrapped around their necks, they spent the night in the car park of Clapham and Collinge solicitors in All Saints Green.

Tony Ing, chief executive of the Benjamin Foundation, who was among those who slept outside, said: 'It's about raising awareness of the circumstances young people find themselves in, which may see them sleeping on the streets or sofa surfing, which is increasingly prevalent.

'We talk about 80,000 young people who experience homelessness each year, but the true numbers are not really known, so are probably higher.'

The charity, which provides support and a safe place to live for vulnerable 16 to 25-year-olds with no home, has accommodation centres across Norfolk and works with around 100 young people every day.

Mr Ing said: 'We realise this event does not replicate what it is like to be homeless, but it does given people a taste

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'It's a great opportunity to raise awareness and funds to support the work we do around housing and homelessness.'

People were invited to register, which costs £25, and were then committed to raise at least £100 in sponsorship, with all proceeds going to The Benjamin Foundation.

For more details visit benjaminfoundation.co.uk or call 01603 615670.

Are you raising money for charity? Call David Hannant on 01603 693892.