YMCA is calling on the public to come together and sleep rough for one night in March to support homeless young people.
YMCAs across the country are joining forces to raise awareness of youth homelessness during the national YMCA Sleep Easy Week, running from Friday 8 to Friday 15 March.
The week will see fundraisers sleep out for one night all over England to raise awareness of the hundreds of young people who sleep rough every year and raise funds to help YMCA continue to support residents and young people in their services.
A staple part of our fundraising since 2010, Sleep Easy has seen more than 6,000 people sleep rough to raise more than £1m for local YMCA services that help young people rebuild their lives.
While there is recognition from the public that homelessness is going up, new research from YMCA has found that just one in four young people who are homeless (26%) believe the public care about youth homelessness.
When thinking about themselves and their personal situation, even fewer young people who are homeless believe the public are concerned. Less than one in five homeless young people (19%) believe the public care about their situation.
YMCA are hoping that this event will act as a way of showing young people in our community who are homeless that the public do care about them and that they are trying to tackle the problem of homelessness by raising vital funds.
Denise Hatton, chief executive, YMCA England & Wales says: “This March, YMCAs across the country are holding Sleep Easy events to help raise much needed awareness of the plight of homelessness among young people. Only this month it was revealed that nearly 300 rough sleepers are under 26 years old.
“We’re asking the local community to sign up to YMCA Sleep Easy Week and show you care about youth homelessness. The more people who can get involved, the more young people we will be able to help.”
Last year hundreds of YMCA supporters from as far afield as Exeter, Somerset, Cambridge and Doncaster raised more than £500,000 in total as part of YMCA’s National Sleep Easy Week.