The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Christian charity does Big Sleep Out for homeless 

On Friday October 13 Norwich homeless charity, Hope into Action, will be hosting its Big Sleep Out event at Café Britannia.

The charity is challenging the people of Norfolk to join them for an evening to experience a very small taste of what it might be like to be homeless overnight. The event will start with food, acoustic music and personal testimonies from local people who have experienced homelessness. At 10pm when the café closes, those who are willing and able are invited to ‘bed down’ in front of the café and on the heath for a potentially wet and cold night without the comforts of home. The aim of the event is to increase awareness of the struggles faced by homeless people in Norwich and to raise funds to enable Hope into Action to continue their work to combat these issues.

The award-winning charity was founded in Peterborough in 2010 and opened a Norwich project in 2012. The aim of the charity is to change the lives of the most disadvantaged in our city by providing them with beautiful homes and surrounding them with positive role models who will encourage them to make good life choices. Hope into Action Norwich have seven houses open and has housed 67 people since it opened. They are opening an eighth house later in the year and are currently in the process of buying house number nine.
When looking for a venue to hold their Big Sleep Out, Hope into Action approached Britannia café first. As Norwich Coordinator, Kate Doran-Smith says, “Finding new and exciting ways to fundraise is always a challenge, especially for a small charity like ourselves. Hope Into Action are committed in our holistic approach to work in partnership with other agencies, not only to deliver excellent service, but to also join in unity with other likeminded people who are also trying to support the most marginalised and vulnerable in society. Café Britannia are an example of this and our event with them on Oct 13th is evidence that together we are stronger.”

HopeInto Action changinglivesCHomelessness is a growing concern in the UK with rough sleeping increasing by 16% in 2017. The need for services such as those provided by Hope into Action is greater now than ever before. As Davina Tanner OBE, Chief Executive of Britannia Enterprises says, "We are delighted to be working with Hope into Action on The Big Sleep Out event as it is an issue close to our hearts.  Here at Britannia Enterprises we offer mentoring, training, employment and rehabilitation to prisoners in order to reduce re-offending…  We know, first hand, how challenging it can be for ex-prisoners to find somewhere safe to live… A lack of housing options puts people at risk and we support all work that seeks to help people get a roof over their head - because having a place to live gives people a fresh start and can often be the first step towards a brighter and better future.  We are grateful for all the work that Hope into Action do in helping people to achieve this.”      

Tickets for the event are £20, which includes a meal and also breakfast in the cafe for those braving the elements! Click here to buy a ticket or phone Kate Doran-Smith for further details: (01603) 927271.
Hope Into Action relies on the local church daily to operate this project and they are calling on them again to support this event.

  • 1 John 3:17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
  • James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
  • Isaiah 58: 6-8 Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?  Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 

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