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Statistics show hope for vulnerable young people in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 15:15 10 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:02 10 October 2018

Launch of the Benjamin Foundation Sleep Out, 2018.

Launch of the Benjamin Foundation Sleep Out, 2018.

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Almost one hundred and fifty vulnerable young adults assisted by a local charity moved from supported accommodation into either education, employment or training over the last year, it can be revealed.

The EDP and Norwich Evening News wants to speak with families and individuals put into temporary accommodation in Norfolk.The EDP and Norwich Evening News wants to speak with families and individuals put into temporary accommodation in Norfolk.

The statistics are from the Benjamin Foundation, a Norfolk-based charity seeking to prevent youth homelessness, and were published in the run-up to the charity’s annual Sleep Out event next month.

The organization receives in excess of fifteen referrals a month from social services, before interviewing and placing young men and women in supported accommodation, such as Winston Court in North Walsham. Over the last twelve months, ninety-eight young adults engaged with one of the organization’s job coaches, while forty-four people moved into education, fifty-five into employment and forty-three into training.

The charity also spent £13,000 on bursaries, used for training or college fees, suits for interviews and uniforms for work, or travel.

Sharon Coggins, job coach at the charity, works with 16 to 25 year old people, helping them with CVs and job applications, as well as applying for bursaries.

She said: “I look at them and ask, what don’t you want to do? What do you want to do? Let’s see how you can do it.”

Businesses are “really open to having conversations” with the charity, she said, adding: “Getting a job is very important. Just doing work experience boosts self-confidence, and people are more likely to think, I can do this, rather than, I can’t.”

Meanwhile, the charity is continuing its preparations for the Sleep Out on November 15 at Carrow Road in Norwich.

Chris Elliot, marketing and fundraising manager, said that over eighty people have so far signed up to participate.

“We’re still keen on lots more people going,” he said.

Businesses around the city including Bidwells property consultants, Saffron Housing and Clapham and Colligne solicitors have signed up.

The Benjamin Foundation was established in 1994 and now employs 200 staff in the county and Suffolk to help with homelessness. It works with more than 100 people every day.

To sign up for the Sleep Out 2018 visit benjaminfoundation.co.uk/sleep-out-2018 or call 01603 886933. The registering cost is £25 per person, plus a £1.49 Eventbrite fee.

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