Teacher on target to raise £1,000 after taking part in Benjamin Foundation’s Norwich Sleep Out
- Credit: Stephen Plume
A teacher is on target to raise £1,000 for a homelessness charity after taking part in one of its biggest fundraisers.
Stephen Plume, senior vice principal at Iceni Academy in Methwold, joined hundreds of others in the Norwich Sleep Out 2016 to raise money for the Benjamin Foundation, which is based in the city.
He has been supported in his fundraising by wife Hannah, who took part in the sleep out with him, and pupils at his school, who held a charity non-uniform day.
Mr Plume has already raised more than £940 but is determined to reach his £1,000 goal for the charity, which helps provides support and accommodation to young adults in crisis.
Mr Plume, said: 'Homelessness, particularly for young people and those leaving care, is worryingly high and is a growing problem.
'The Benjamin Foundation does excellent work across East Anglia and crucially, for me as an educator, they help to address some of the gaps in the system where young people can fall through and find themselves homeless.
So far the Norwich Sleep Out 2016 has raised more than £20,000 overall for the Benjamin Foundation.
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The inaugural sleep out took palace last year, with participation rising by 50pc for the second event on November 11.
Mr Plume said: 'It was a very humbling experience and I cannot imagine how some people do it night after night. It highlighted in a very real way the growing disparities in our society and I am concerned that the number of people sleeping rough is on the up.
'Of course, when we got up in the morning we knew we were heading home but that most other people on the street would not have anything so nice to look forward to.'
Mr Plume has also used the experience to discuss the issue of homelessness with pupils at Iceni Academy, part of Academy Transformation Trust.
He added: 'I've talked a lot to our pupils about the power of people. I also want pupils to open their eyes to the diverse range of things that can result in homelessness.'
Chris Elliott, marketing and fundraising manager at the Benjamin Foundation, said: 'It [the Sleep Out] shows that people feel strongly about the issue of youth homelessness. Of course, we cannot replicate the hardship that people who are homeless face but this event gives a small flavour of what the physical side of it can be like, whilst raising money at the same time.'
You can donate to Mr Plume at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/stephenplume