Charity Focus: The Benjamin Foundation provides hope for communities

The Benjamin Foundation Meet Up youth club

The Benjamin Foundation's Meet Up supports the community via a range of groups and activities for all ages. - Credit: The Benjamin Foundation

As part of our drive to support local charities, each week we are highlighting the vital work they do and the difference they make to the lives of people in our communities.

This weekend we've heard from The Benjamin Foundation about their services and how they support local communities. 

For over 25 years, children, young people and families across Norfolk and Suffolk have been supported by The Benjamin Foundation to overcome big challenges in their lives.  
Each night the charity accommodates up to 180 vulnerable young people, equating to over 50,000 safe nights a year. They can finally feel safe from youth homelessness. The Benjamin Foundation is the regional partner for the End Youth Homelessness campaign. 

Aspire The Benjamin Foundation Great Yarmouth

Plaque outside Aspire in Great Yarmouth which provides accommodation for young people facing homelessness. - Credit: The Benjamin Foundation

Each week 150 young people access their emotional wellbeing support, increasing self-esteem and helping young people to finally feel supported and understood.
Each year over 400 young people attend The Benjamin Foundation’s youth work in the community to gain new life skills, expand their horizons and to finally feel confident
In the region of 2,000 local children and young people every year finally feel hopeful of a better future because of the work of The Benjamin Foundation. 
The charity is deeply connected to the local community, employing over 220 people in Norfolk and Suffolk.

The Benjamin Foundation Meet Up Adults

The Benjamin Foundation's Meet Up supports the community via a range of groups and activities for all ages. - Credit: The Benjamin Foundation

Support when people needed it the most

When the pandemic hit, vulnerable young people continued to have a safe home and support when they needed it most. Local communities rallied round, and The Benjamin Foundation were grateful to receive an influx of support, including monetary donations, meals, care packages and gift bags filled with essential items. 
Online support for young carers, emotional wellbeing services and youth clubs provided valuable opportunities for young people to keep in touch, gain support and participate in positive activities during times which were unprecedented. The Benjamin Foundation nurseries provided essential childcare for Key Workers, demonstrating their vital role within local communities.

The Benjamin Foundation young carers

The Benjamin Foundation provides support for young carers across Norfolk and Suffolk - Credit: The Benjamin Foundation

The charity has been awestruck by how the young people they support responded and adapted during Covid-19, however, they are aware local people need support more than ever and the full impact on emotional wellbeing of young people may yet to be seen.
In March 2022, The Benjamin Foundation is launching an urgent fundraising appeal to support Meet Up, a youth and community centre in Thetford, and is now reaching out for support from local people and businesses.
 

Meet Up campaign

 Located in an area of high need, Meet Up plays a vital role in tackling local wellbeing issues, inequalities, mental health and social problems. 

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The centre supports the community via a range of groups and activities. It provides young people with youth clubs, reduces isolation for older people, and offers support to families. Meet Up provides opportunities to strengthen and develop skills, raise self-esteem and aspirations, helping to keep young people on the right path. 

The Benjamin Foundation Meet Up youth clubs

The Benjamin Foundation's Meet Up supports the community via a range of groups and activities for all ages. - Credit: The Benjamin Foundation

The Benjamin Foundation has now launched a fundraising drive to fill a funding gap to ensure local people can continue to access the services which they’ve described as their “lifeline.” 

Funding from The National Lottery Community Fund for the last eleven years has enabled Meet Up to carry out vital youth and community work. The Benjamin Foundation is grateful for this support and, with funding drawing to a close, would like to thank The National Lottery as they reach out to supporters and new funders in order to continue Meet Up’s fantastic work. 

Meet Up member Alfie, age 13 says: “I have been going to Meet Up for five years and it has always been a supportive and safe place for me to attend. It has helped with my self-confidence.” 

The Benjamin Foundation Meet Up Member

Alfie, aged 13 years old, a member of The Benjamin Foundation's Meet Up. - Credit: The Benjamin Foundation

Mike Towndrow, Meet Up Manager says: “The National Lottery support for Meet Up has been amazing for the community. Meet Up means so much to so many. Ultimately, it is a lifeline in the heart of the community where little else exists. A place to share worries, get advice, support and guidance and take part in positive activities that enable young people and families to broaden their aspirations, confidence and self-worth.” 

The Benjamin Foundation urgently needs your support. Funding and support for Meet Up is needed to ensure local people have a place to connect, a place to make friends and a place to feel safe. Life is tough for many local people. Meet Up makes it a little easier. 

Donate to Meet Up today https://benjaminfoundation.co.uk/donate/meet-up/
Or contact Jessica on events@benjaminfoundation.co.uk to discuss fundraising and corporate partnership opportunities.


New for 2022! The Benjamin Foundation Take Back Scheme
The Benjamin Foundation has launched a new scheme to reduce waste and give new life to pre-loved white goods. The ‘Take Back’ scheme offers free collection of any working or non-working appliance with a purchase of any new, refurbed or second-hand appliance. The scheme is available through the charity’s furniture stores in Norwich, Dereham, Holt and King’s Lynn. 

The Benjamin Foundation store front

The Benjamin Foundation's charity shop in King's Lynn. - Credit: The Benjamin Foundation

As well as donated furniture, the stores also sell brand new white goods. For customers’ convenience, when an appliance is purchased from the stores, the Take Back scheme will offer to take away old white goods for free (terms and conditions apply) for refurbishment for resale or to support those in need. Visit benjaminfoundation.co.uk for more information.

Looking for other ways to support The Benjamin Foundation? Contact the team on info@benjaminfoundation.co.uk or make a donation today at https://benjaminfoundation.co.uk/donate/