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Record numbers will brave the cold at Norwich charity event

PUBLISHED: 14:07 13 November 2018

Sara Sayer and Kate Starling at Tesco in Fakenham, where they have been fundraising for the 2018 Benjamin Foundation Sleep Out.

Sara Sayer and Kate Starling at Tesco in Fakenham, where they have been fundraising for the 2018 Benjamin Foundation Sleep Out.

Archant

Record numbers will sleep outside for a night this week at a Norwich fundraising event for preventing homelessness.

Sara Sayer and Kate Starling at Tesco in Fakenham, where they have been fundraising for the 2018 Benjamin Foundation Sleep Out.Sara Sayer and Kate Starling at Tesco in Fakenham, where they have been fundraising for the 2018 Benjamin Foundation Sleep Out.

The annual Sleep Out, organized by Norfolk-based Benjamin Foundation, will take place this Thursday (November 15) outside Norwich City football ground on Carrow Road. The charity has announced that over 130 people are booked to participate - a record-breaking number in the event’s four-year history.

Among the participants are two north Norfolk women who have so far raised almost £500.

Kate Starling, from Briston, a village near Holt, and Sara Sayer, from Guist, have never taken part in the event before.

A stay-at-home mother of three, Ms Starling said that when visiting Norwich she always buys McDonalds for homeless people. She saw an advertisement for the Sleep Out and thought it is a good way of raising money.

“It is quite a good way to experience something,” she said, “to know what that lifestyle is like.”

Ms Starling said she likes her “home comforts”. In preparation for the event, she has been going outside at nighttime in her pyjamas. “I last about two minutes and think, This is going to be quite an experience,” she said, adding, “People laugh when I say I’m doing it, and say, What? You?”

Ms Sayer works at Tesco in Fakenham.

When her friend Ms Starling mentioned she was looking for some company on the Sleep Out, Ms Sayer agreed to join in. “The more I talked to Kate, the more passionate I got,” Ms Sayer said.

“This is a biggie for me. I can’t imagine how cold it’s going to be. It’s going to be an eye-opener.”

Tesco in Fakenham has hosted a number of fundraising days and activities, including basket collections. There is also a book stall, where people can deposit unwanted books which are then sold and the proceeds donated to the Benjamin Foundation.

The women have raised £439 so far and hope to raise £600.

The Sleep Out, part of a national initiative organised by the End Youth Homelessness Campaign, has raised over £90,000 in the last four years. It is estimated there are 86,000 young people who are homeless in the UK.

If you are interested in taking part, email: chris.elliot@benjaminfoundation.co.uk

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