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Sleep-out event raises money for pioneering King's Lynn Winter Shelter which will help the homeless

PUBLISHED: 20:19 25 November 2017 | UPDATED: 20:36 25 November 2017

Laura and Chris Evans at the sleep-out in aid of the King�s Lynn Winter Night Shelter. Picture: Andrew Frere-Smith

Laura and Chris Evans at the sleep-out in aid of the King�s Lynn Winter Night Shelter. Picture: Andrew Frere-Smith

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A number of hardy souls took part in a sleep-out on what was one of the coldest nights of the year to raise money for a new night shelter.

The volunteers who took part in the sleep-out in aid of the King�s Lynn Winter Night Shelter. Picture: Andrew Frere-SmithThe volunteers who took part in the sleep-out in aid of the King�s Lynn Winter Night Shelter. Picture: Andrew Frere-Smith

Nine volunteers from the King’s Lynn Winter Night Shelter spent Friday night at St John’s Church participating in the national Advent Sleepout Challenge.

It is hoped the event will have raised £1,000 for the town’s night shelter which will offer homeless people a safe place to go when it launches on Friday, December 1.

Two of the volunteers braved the cold and slept outside where temperatures dropped to below freezing while the others stayed inside the church.

MORE - Sleep-out will help King’s Lynn night shelter

Development worker Andrew Frere-Smith said: “Not everybody slept out, we had a couple, but everybody slept in the church. Even in the church and in a sleeping bag it was cold.”

The number of rough sleepers on the streets of King’s Lynn rose to 42 in December 2016, compared to five in 2015.

In response King’s Lynn Churches Together came up with the pioneering night shelter which will provide rough sleepers with a place to relax off the streets on Friday and Saturday nights.

People will be able to go to the Purfleet Trust in St Ann’s Fort from 7.30pm and 8am, until the end of March.

It will enable homeless people to have two nights of food, a warm environment and a chance to speak to other people.

“People don’t know how to respond to them [homeless people] so they are actually very lonely,” said Mr Frere-Smith. “They need social interaction.

“That is what we can offer them, some conversation and make them feel like a human being.”

So far around 35 to 40 people have volunteered to help the night shelter. People can take part in one of three sessions, 6.30pm until 9pm, 9pm until 6.30am or 6.30am until 9am.

The shelter will be able to cater for 16 homeless people per-night.

“They will come in and if they want to play board games we will do that” said Mr Frere-Smith. “In the morning they will have breakfast and there are shower facilities.

“Although we are only able to offer two nights, it is a life line.”

To donate to or volunteer for the shelter contact Andrew Frere-Smith by email at andrew.frere-smith@dioceseofnorwich.org or visit the sponsorship page

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