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Sleep out in freezing Ipswich raises £3,000 for homelessness charity

PUBLISHED: 05:30 04 November 2018

Attendees have wrapped up warm in sleeping bags and hats. Picture: WILL JEFFORD

Attendees have wrapped up warm in sleeping bags and hats. Picture: WILL JEFFORD

WILL JEFFORD

Ipswich residents braved sub zero temperatures in a sleep out that aimed to raise awareness for the homeless.

The Benjamin Foundation works with young people who have becoe homeless. Picture: WILL JEFFORDThe Benjamin Foundation works with young people who have becoe homeless. Picture: WILL JEFFORD

Around 30 participants attended and each one ran a fundraising page in a bid to raise money for The Benjamin Foundation, a charity which works with young people and families to help them deal with many of the challenges that life throws at them.

Over £3,000 has already been raised for the charity, which is aimed at children, young people and families, delivering a whole range of services across both Norfolk and Suffolk.

A large amount of their work is around the issue of housing and homelessness and this is the second sleep out they have held in Ipswich.

Chris Elliott, Marketing and Fundraising Manager for The Benjamin Foundation, said: “We tried to keep it quite minimal, although we did have some hot drinks and some hot food.

Around 30 people turned up to brave the elements and sleep outside. Picture: WILL JEFFORDAround 30 people turned up to brave the elements and sleep outside. Picture: WILL JEFFORD

“It’s not the reality of homelessness but we tried to mirror it and give people a little taste of what it feels like to sleep outside during a cold night.”

“We told people to come prepared, which is why this isn’t really like being homeless.

“People brought hats and sleeping bags so even though it was really cold we managed to stay comfortable for most of the night.”

The temperature in Suffolk dropped to as low as 0C during the night and attendees were seen wearing hats, gloves and thick coats.

Mr Elliot continued: “We know that even in this environment, where you are looked after to a degree, people still think very differently about the issue of homelessness.

“In the morning we are all lucky that we can dash home for a hot drink and to see out families.

“For me that is the point where I stop and think, what if I then had to stay out all day and another night.

“It just gets you think about how much of a problem homelessness is and for a lot of people it motivates them to help.”

Paul Quick who is one of those sleeping rough said: “It’s just a good cause.

“It seemed like a good thing to do to try and raise some money for it and it is local so I was dead keen on going for it. I’ve got a few layers on so I should be OK.

“I used to be in the army so I have spend a few nights worse than this.”

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