Action Zones 

Advent Sleepout raised nearly £3000 for new project 

imagineIn December an intrepid team braced a night in the cold to raise money and awareness for two charities; the Church Urban Fund and 'The Living Room' (see here for link to previous article about this event)

The Bishop of Thetford, the Revd Jemma Sander-Heys, Anna Heydon from the Imagine Norfolk Together team and others took part in the Advent Sleepout Challenge

Anna Heydon, Imagine Norfolk Together worker for Great Yarmouth said:
"We took part in the Sleepout to not only raise money but also to raise awareness about the issue of homelessness and the work that is going on to bring about change”

In 2015 it was estimated that as many as 3,569 people were sleeping rough on any given night in England. This number is double the figure for 2010

‘The Living Room’ is a new project which started in January in order to provide a safe, warm overnight place for Great Yarmouth’s rough sleepers during the cold winter months. 'The Living Room' is open every Saturday night until the end of March and they provide visitors with a hot meal, a place to chat with volunteers and a warm safe place for the night. It has been set up by local churches and organisations working in partnership

Anna said:
We want to make the most of the resources we have in our churches and communities in order to offer a better option to those on the streets or in unsafe accommodation. I am passionate about the fact that no-one should have to sleep on the streets, especially during cold or wet weather. As a Christian I believe that God cares about people who are facing challenges in their lives, and he wants his Church to care about them too, and use what they have to help

The Advent Sleepout in Great Yarmouth raised nearly £3000 and 80% of the money raised will go to The Living Room and 20% to CUF

Anna continued:
We are so thankful for all the support people gave for the Sleepout Challenge. The money people donated has allowed us to employ a Project Co-ordinator who manages referrals, meets visitors in advance and supports them to connect with other services
Currently we have 20 volunteers fulfilling a number of different roles from cooking and preparing meals for the visitors to playing board games and chatting with them. We are always looking for more volunteers as we want to increase the support we can give

'The Living Room' opened on Saturday 7 January 2017 and has several regular visitors, with the numbers referred from local organisations gradually increasing
To find out more or to donate or volunteer please contact Anna Heydon 

this article is reproduced from the Church of England, Diocese of Norwich website and used with permission