Ahead of the opening of a new night shelter in Lynn tonight, a team of volunteers have experienced their own night of rough sleeping to raise funds for the cause.
Nine supporters of the programme, which will run on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the winter, took part in an Advent Sleepout Challenge last Friday.
Two slept outside, while seven others bedded down in St John’s Church. Between them, they hope to raise around £1,000 towards the programme.
Andrew Frere-Smith, a development worker for Imagine Norfolk Together and a member of the scheme’s steering group, said: “I wasn’t brave enough to sleep outdoors but even in the church it was difficult to sleep due to the cold.
“It makes you think what it must be like for people who have to spend every night on the street.”
The shelter, which is organised by King’s Lynn Churches Together, is based at the Purfleet Trust and will be open on Friday and Saturday nights until March to give rough sleepers a safe place to go.
Up to 16 guests, who will be given a bed and meals, can be accommodated each night.
Officials are also seeking volunteers to help run the shelter in shifts from either 6.30 to 9pm, 9pm to 6.30am or 6.30 to 9am.
Anyone who can help, or who would like to make a donation towards the running of the shelter, should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.