Ipswich ‘sleep out’ on the streets cancelled - campaigners urged to stay awake all night instead
- Credit: 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 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.
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.
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“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.”
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/