• Ellen Mary

Beat youth homelessness with The Benjamin Foundation


I’ve been a Benjamin Foundation supporter for a few years now as their work with young people across Norfolk and Suffolk is both inspirational and essential. TBF help young people deal with all the many things life throws at them, things that the majority of us will never have to experience. One of those is being homeless.

I love being warm, comfortable and enjoy my home comforts of which I am immensely grateful for every single day. So, why not sleep out in a car park for a night!? That’s what over 100 of us did on Friday 11th November for TBF as part of the Nationwide Big Sleep Out. We all arrived and made our ‘beds’ for the night which were pieces of cardboard on the tarmac, sleeping bags and a large sleep out bag provided by TBF. Some of us even had a cardboard box over our heads! I wasn’t particularly cold, I expect due to the merino wool layers, ski trousers and heat packs. Oh the irony.

I slept on and off, uncomfortably. The next day I felt almost drunk with exhaustion and had an aching hip and shoulder. When I got home just before the rain started I showered, walked the dog and fell asleep for two hours in my warm bed. It wasn’t until Sunday that I really spent time thinking about the experience. That night we were amongst friends and it felt safe but just for a moment imagine being alone. Imagine having clothing not designed for winter nights, imagine having no friends around you, no family. Now imagine that as your younger self.

Its been on my mind ever since. It almost brings me to tears. No one deserves to be homeless. How do we help? Well, lets not judge for a start, you never know why someone is homeless and to make sure we are helping the right channels lets support The Benjamin Foundation in all their superb work they do for young people. They need funds to continue providing essential accommodation and help for youngsters in need of it, lets not rest on our laurels, the team at TBF never do. They are so enthusiastic and passionate about their work, they never stop and so we know our help is being used in the best possible way.

When you close your curtains tonight and the wind is blowing, rain is falling and snow is on the way, just spare a thought for those with nowhere to sleep but the streets. Better still…do something about it.

Contact Chris Elliot or Joanna Storey at the contact details HERE.


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