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Sleep-out will help King's Lynn night shelter

PUBLISHED: 14:10 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:16 20 November 2017

A sleepout is raising funds for a new night shelter. Picture: Thinkstock

A sleepout is raising funds for a new night shelter. Picture: Thinkstock

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Campaigners will be staging a sleep-out to raise funds for a new night shelter in King's Lynn.

On Friday volunteers from the King’s Lynn Winter Night Shelter will be participating in the Advent Sleepout Challenge.

This is a national sponsored event which is being organised by the Church Urban Fund, which helps marginalised people to transform their lives and their communities.

During advent, people from all over England will be giving up a night of home comforts and sleeping out with their friends, families, church, and community groups.

They’ll be wrapping up in their winter woollies for a fun night in venues including school halls, churches, community halls, scout huts - or even garden sheds, as long as they’re not sleeping in their own beds.

The King’s Lynn event will take place in St. John’s Church, on Blackfriars Road, near the town centre, from 9pm on Friday until 8am on Saturday.

Development worker Andrew Frere-Smith said: “We want as many people as possible to register and join us or to take part by being a sponsor.”

King’s Lynn Winter Night Shelter is a pioneering project to provide rough sleepers a safe place to go on Friday and Saturday nights from December until March.

They will be given a bed, warm meals and the chance to relax off the streets.

The night shelter is the brainchild of King’s Lynn Churches Together, who wanted to respond to the steep rise in homeless people in the town over few years.

The centre will be based at the Purfleet Trust in St Ann’s Fort, near the Tuesday Market Place.

The trust currently helps around 80 people, mostly single homeless a day.

Staff blame increased numbers on recent changes including the capping of housing benefits, which has made private landlords reluctant to accept homeless tenants.

The new project will have one paid co-ordinator and will require about 60 volunteers to keep it running.

Anyone wishing to donate to the shelter can do so online or contact Andrew Frere-Smith by email at andrew.frere-smith@dioceseofnorwich.org.

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