Local charity calls for support as they prepare for the Ipswich Sleep Out

Local charity calls for support as they prepare for the Ipswich Sleep Out

Local charity, The Benjamin Foundation is calling for support to help end youth homelessness as they prepare to bring their annual fundraising event to Ipswich for the third consecutive year.

Sleep Out invites people to spend one night outside so others don’t have to. This year, The Benjamin Foundation are bringing the event back to Birketts on Princes Street on Friday 1st November, and are inviting individuals and businesses to register and raise money by spending one night sleeping in the car park.

The Benjamin Foundation wants to end youth homelessness and is tackling the problem by providing a home and support to over 100 local vulnerable young adults each night. The charity has accommodation centres in Stowmarket and Ipswich. They also support young people through a network of Hosts, who are trained and supported to look after a young person in the Hosts own home.

The result is that vulnerable young people throughout Suffolk, who have not had the best start in life, are provided with a safe place to live, stability and the opportunity to learn important life skills to help them move towards independence. This helps to prevent more young people ending up on the streets and stops the local homelessness problem growing.

Following the loss of her Mum, Abbie began to flourish with the help of The Benjamin Foundation. Living with one of the charity’s Hosts in Suffolk gave her the support she needed: “It was nice because she [my Host] treated me like family. She helped me a lot to learn to basic life skills. I’d got myself into a rut but she took me out of it.”

Also with the help of a Support Worker from The Benjamin Foundation,  Abbie, now aged 18, learnt new skills, how to budget, she grew in confidence and recently moved into her own home in the county and is now doing well.

Ipswich Sleep Out is an opportunity to increase awareness of youth homelessness in the region. In 2018, over 30 individuals 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, which has helped to buy items such as bedding, kitchen essentials and clothing, as well as providing practical help like counselling and training courses to support the emotional wellbeing and future aspirations of young people to help them build a better future.

Abbie continues: “I feel like if you can support such a good system you’re really doing the world of good. It means that younger people have the opportunity to improve themselves.”

Sue Potter of S Potter Talent has already signed up for this year’s Ipswich Sleep Out to try to make a difference to the lives of local vulnerable young people.

She says: “I believe to understand a situation fully you need to experience it yourself, otherwise all you are doing is guessing how it is. By taking part in Ipswich Sleep Out, not only am I raising money, I am also experiencing it first hand, which will help me when I talk to others to understand how important it is to support local charities, like The Benjamin Foundation. I am delighted to be able to assist with supporting the local community.”

The Benjamin Foundation’s Marketing and Fundraising Manager, Chris Elliott says: “We help people across Suffolk to deal with some of the challenges that life throws at them.  Our work brings hope, opportunity, stability and independence to the people we support. The Benjamin Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, so we hope that more people than ever will get involved in Ipswich Sleep Out to raise money to shape better futures for vulnerable young people in Suffolk.”

The Benjamin Foundation is part of End Youth Homelessness, a UK-wide network of local charities that have joined forces to tackle youth homelessness together. It provides a national platform to raise awareness, share experience and generate voluntary income though Sleep Out, which in 2018 raised over £1.2million in 15 locations across the UK.

If you’re an individual or a business who would like to get involved with Ipswich Sleep Out 2019 to help tackle local youth homelessness, sign up here: https://benjaminfoundation.co.uk/event/ipswich-sleep-out-2019/

For more information email chris.elliott@benjaminfoundation.co.uk or call 07825 130003

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