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Ipswich ‘sleep out’ on the streets cancelled - campaigners urged to stay awake all night instead

PUBLISHED: 14:02 03 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 September 2020

This year's Ipswich Sleep Out has been cancelled - but a STAY:UP event has been organised in its place. Picture: THE BENJAMIN FOUNDATION

This year's Ipswich Sleep Out has been cancelled - but a STAY:UP event has been organised in its place. Picture: THE BENJAMIN FOUNDATION

The Benjamin Foundation

A gruelling all-night sleep out overnight on the streets of Ipswich to raise awareness of homelessness has been cancelled - but campaigners are encouraged to stay up all night instead.

The 2019 Sleep Out organised by the Benjamin Foundation. The event cannot take place this year, due to the coronavirus crisis - but the STAY:UP event will be held instead. Picture: BENJAMIN FOUNDATIONThe 2019 Sleep Out organised by the Benjamin Foundation. The event cannot take place this year, due to the coronavirus crisis - but the STAY:UP event will be held instead. Picture: BENJAMIN FOUNDATION

The Benjamin Foundation, which provides a home and support to more than 100 vulnerable young people in the area every night, was due to hold its fourth annual Sleep Out this year.

The charity believes allowing people to experience the harsh reality of sleeping in freezing temperatures on concrete allows more people to truly understand the difficulties homeless people face.

MORE: Could you survive sleeping rough on the streets of Ipswich?

But, following the coronavirus crisis, the event cannot take place this year - meaning the foundation has instead set up the STAY:UP challenge on Friday, October 9.

People are urged to stay awake for one night to raise money for the organisation, which is trying to bring an end to youth homelessness.

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Matt Garrod, director of operations for the Benjamin Foundation, said: “In 2019 alone, our flagship fundraising events in Norwich and Ipswich raised over £110,000 - a record-breaking amount for our charity, to help our work with local vulnerable young people, giving them safe and stable accommodation and helping them to take their next steps to successful independent lives.

“2020 is different.

“Sleep Out in the usual format isn’t possible this year, which has potential to have a huge impact on our charity’s income.

“Therefore, we are pleased to collaborate with End Youth Homelessness to bring STAY:UP to Norfolk and Suffolk and we urge local people and businesses to back the event to continue to help local young people.”

MORE: Ipswich braced for dramatic rise in homelessness this winter from aftershock of coronavirus

On the night itself, The Benjamin Foundation will be creating an online community and a programme of fun, interactive activities on the hour, every hour, to provide motivation throughout the challenge.

Registration is via The Benjamin Foundation website and costs just £5 per household, with participants requested to aim to raise £100 in sponsorship for their STAY:UP challenge.

To register for STAY:UP, visit https://benjaminfoundation.co.uk/event/stayup/


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