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Youngsters' stint to aim homeless

PUBLISHED: 16:26 19 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:13 03 March 2010

EVERY night homeless people sleep on the streets, in doorways and in cardboard boxes, in towns and cities across the world.

Waking up in the same situation today were a group of Felixstowe youngsters who gave up their cosy warm beds to suffer a night sleeping out in the cold to make them realise how much they take for granted.

EVERY night homeless people sleep on the streets, in doorways and in cardboard boxes, in towns and cities across the world.

Waking up in the same situation today were a group of Felixstowe youngsters who gave up their cosy warm beds to suffer a night sleeping out in the cold to make them realise how much they take for granted.

The event was part of a fundraising project by the youth group of Cavendish Community Church, Felixstowe, to help the street children of Guatemala.

Most of those taking part in the sponsored sleepout with just cardboard boxes to keep them warm were aged 15 to 17, and they were supported by some of the members of the younger groups of the church in Grange Farm Avenue.

Louise Hayward, a member of the youth group and one of the organisers of the event, said the aim of the sleepout was to "make us think about how much we take for granted".

The youngsters are supporting the work of Toybox, a Christian charity supporting homeless and poverty-stricken children in Guatemala.

"We started the project about 18 months ago and set ourselves the target of raising £5,000 by the summer of 2003," said Louise.

"So far we have raised approximately £3,500, but we still need more.

"We have all been touched by the plight of the street children and are determined to raise the money to help them.

"We have raised the money through various events, including a sponsored abseil, sale of work, car boot sales, and setting up gardening and babysitting services, not to mention the support our church members have given us through donations."

Members of the youth group were also planning to raise money separately so that they could visit Guatemala next year to help the charity and see how the money which was raised would be spent.

Teams from Toybox work on the streets of Guatemala City and its rubbish dump, looking for homeless children.

They also run a hostel – providing children with the chance to sleep in a secure environment – and day centre, working with the children who come off the streets, giving them training, a chance to relax and have fun and two daily meals.

In the UK, the charity works with schools, churches and interest groups. Each year it visits more than over 75,000 schoolchildren to tell them about the children in Guatemala, perform dramas and teach about life in another country.

WEBLINK: www.toybox.org

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