25 people Sleep Out at Portman Road to raise awareness of homelessness
- Credit: The Benjamin Foundation
It was a chilly night at Portman Road as 25 people slept out under the stars to raise money to support young people at risk of homelessness in Suffolk.
The Benjamin Foundation organised the Sleep Out event at Ipswich Town's football ground to give people a small glimpse into some of the challenges homeless people may face.
The money raised by those sleeping outside for one night is used to fund programmes that help young people in Norfolk and Suffolk avoid homelessness, including the nightly provision of a safe home for more than 100 vulnerable youngsters across the counties.
And with additional challenges caused by Covid-19 affecting young people's education, ability to find work and mental health, the work of The Benjamin Foundation is as important as ever.
Event manager Jessica Glover said: "We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who spent one night outside last night and to all those who supported the event to help more local young people to finally feel hopeful of a better future.
"Money raised at Sleep Out enables us to do even more to help local vulnerable young people when they need us the most, supporting them to create the building blocks to successful, independent living. This has a huge impact on local young lives."
Ipswich Town Football Club said it was "delighted to be hosting" the Ipswich Sleep Out "to raise awareness of how prevalent homelessness remains in our community".
The event couldn't be held in 2020 due to the pandemic, but returned for 2021, with more than £5,000 raised so far.
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Suffolk-based WS Training Limited put forward a team of 11 to take part.
Participant Catherine Garnham said: "Our team works with 16 to 24-year-olds, many of whom are vulnerable so this is an issue close to our hearts.
"It's great to raise money for an amazing charity; we've raised over £2,800 so far and are very proud."
Sleep Out events are held across the UK throughout November each year by partners of the End Youth Homelessness movement.