Can you survive sleeping rough on the streets of Ipswich in winter?

Benjamin Foundation Ipswich 2021 Sleep Out to return

The Benjamin Foundation's Ipswich Sleep Out will return in 2021 to give people a real life perspective on homelessness - Credit: The Benjamin Foundation

It is hard for many of us to even begin to imagine what spending a cold winter night on the streets of Ipswich, with no home to go to, must be like.

But hardy volunteers are preparing to do just that - to learn more about the plight of rough sleepers coping with the greatest hardship of all.

The Benjamin Foundation has held four annual Sleep Out events in Ipswich to help people understand the difficulties homeless people face.

They also raise money for the charity, which supports vulnerable young people in the area with housing.

The 2020 event had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.

However, it will return this year at Ipswich Town's Portman Road football ground on Thursday, November 4.

Sleep Out event manager Jessica Glover said: "Money raised at Sleep Out enables us to do even more to help young people when they need us the most, supporting them to create the building blocks to successful, independent living.

"We are proud of the impact this has on local young lives.

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“We are thrilled to bring our Sleep Out events back for 2021 in a Covid-safe way.

"We are now calling on local people and businesses to get behind Sleep Out 2021 to make this our most successful year ever in order to help more local young people to finally feel hopeful of a better future.”

As well as giving vulnerable young people at risk of homelessness a roof over their heads, The Benjamin Foundation helps them learn essential essential life skills such as cooking and budgeting.

It also helps them to develop their career ambitions.

Courtney, 19, whose surname we have been asked not to use, has lived at a Benjamin Foundation accommodation centre for two years

“I was very much a timid girl, very shy," she said. 

"Being able to bloom here is great.

“My life would be completely different if I hadn’t come here and got the support in this environment.

"They have really helped me to be who I am today and helped me to get where I am.

"The support they have given me has been amazing.”

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