YMCAs from all over England are calling on local supporters to come together and sleep rough to help support homeless young people this March.
Fifteen YMCAs from as far afield as Exeter, Somerset Coast, Cambridgeshire and Doncaster are joining forces to fundraise during the national YMCA Sleep Easy Week, running from Friday 3 to Friday 10 March.
The week will see donors sleep out for one night to raise awareness of the hundreds of young people who sleep rough every year in England and also raise funds to help local YMCAs support residents and young people in their services.
YMCA Sleep Easy nights have been running since 2010 with about 6,000 participants raising more than £1m for the youth charity in that time. Money brought in has helped local YMCAs, which work in more than 660 communities across England and Wales, provide accommodation, training and employment, advice and health and wellbeing services to almost 230,000 young people every year.
It is hoped that a coordinated fundraising week will help the charity raise even more funds as the numbers of rough sleepers across all age ranges continues to rise and pressures mount on the housing market.
Niamh Neville, Director of Fundraising for the national council of YMCAs in England and Wales, said: “Local YMCAs provide essential services to vulnerable and homeless young people in communities all over England and Wales. Without the support we offer, many more young people would be sleeping on the streets and have less options and less chance of realising their potential.
“YMCAs are working together this year to raise awareness of the plight of rough sleeping among young people and raise much-needed funds that will help us provide the full range of services needed for young people to flourish and thrive in their communities.
“We know from our experience over the past 172 years that homeless young people need more than just a room and that is why YMCAs provide such an array of services, from gyms and health and wellbeing support to employment and training programmes and counselling.
“We’re now calling on people to sign up to the YMCA Sleep Easy in their local area this March and help us support young people in our services today and into the future. One night could make a lifetime of difference to a young person in need.”
YMCAs signed up to take part in the national YMCA Sleep Easy Week are YMCA Exeter, YMCA Mendip, YMCA Somerset Coast, YMCA Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, YMCA Cheltenham, YMCA East Surrey, YMCA Black Country Group, YMCA Doncaster, YMCA Coventry and Warwickshire, YMCA Derbyshire, YMCA Bedfordshire, YMCA Lincolnshire, YMCA Norfolk, YMCA Thames Gateway and Southend YMCA.
Anyone who would like to take part in a Sleep Easy in their area should contact the local YMCA directly. Alternatively, read our Fundraising webpage.
Thank you to self storage company, Safestore, which is donating cardboard boxes to seven local YMCAs involved in the Sleep Easy Week.
YMCA in England and Wales
- Founded in 1844, YMCA in England and Wales is made up of 133 member YMCAs working to ensure that young people have opportunities to thrive and contribute positively to their communities.
- YMCA operates in almost 660 different communities in England and Wales impacting upon the lives of more than 600,000 people every year.
- YMCAs provide nearly 11,000 beds for young people every night. YMCA is the largest voluntary sector provider of safe, supported accommodation for young men and women.
- YMCA in England and Wales enables 53,000 people every year to engage in education, skills and training to enable them to improve their opportunities in the job market.
- YMCA is the largest voluntary sector provider of health and wellbeing services promoting physical activity.
- For further information please visit ymca.org.uk