Fundraising 40 sleep out in Ipswich to support vulnerable young people
- Credit: The Benjamin Foundation
A record number braved the elements and spent a night sleeping outside in Ipswich to help tackle youth homelessness.
A total of 40 fundraisers took part in the third Ipswich Sleep Out, in support of The Benjamin Foundation's work to provide a homes and support to vulnerable young people aged 16 to 25.
The £6,500 so far raised will also go towards providing young people with the skills they need to forge an independent life.
Accountancy firm BDO, which has an office on Ransomes Europark, was represented by 17 staff, including regional managing partner, Lisa Clampin, who said: "Helping local charities is important to us; our citizenship programme helps us to affect and influence our local community, where we can see the difference our support will make.
"I have a choice; I can go home tomorrow. The young people we are helping through taking part in Ipswich Sleep Out don't have a choice, and that's something we can help with by making a small sacrifice."
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The Benjamin Foundation has been working in Suffolk since 2016. With accommodation centres in Ipswich and Stowmarket, it also supports young people through a network of hosts, trained and supported to look after a young person in their home.
The result is a safe place to live, stability and the opportunity to learn important life skills, such as shopping, cooking and budgeting, to help them towards independence.
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Money raised from previous Ipswich Sleep Out events has helped young people buy items like clothing for job interviews, bikes to get to college or work, workwear and counselling.
One young person supported by The Benjamin Foundation said: "Thanks to money raised at last year's Sleep Out, I was able to buy my provisional driving licence, which meant I had ID to open my own bank account, at last. This has made my life so much easier."
Ipswich Sleep Out participant Adrian Seagers, partner at Birketts, which provided the venue for Ipswich Sleep Out said: "I was struck by how deserving the cause was; it was the thought of young adults from a disadvantaged background being alone, vulnerable and scared."
The Benjamin Foundation's marketing and fundraising manager, Chris Elliott, said: "We're delighted by the support of local people and businesses for Ipswich Sleep Out 2019."