For the very first time, YMCAs from across England will come together to take part in a mammoth virtual Sleep Easy event on Friday March 26, with the aim of raising vital funds to help tackle the root causes of youth homelessness.
Stretching from Bristol to Northumberland, this year local YMCAs have decided to harness the power of collaboration and community spirt by swapping their usual independent Sleep Easy events in favour of one, united event.
And so, from 7pm on Friday 26 to 7am on Saturday 27 March, hundreds of people across the country will be sleeping anywhere but their beds to raise awareness of the thousands of young people who are made homeless each year, and YMCA is calling on you to join them.
This Sleep Easy will look different from previous years as COVID-19 has not just had an impact on homelessness services but on fundraising as well. Traditionally, an event that brings lots of the community together in one place, this year will see people going solo or with their families and swapping the streets for bathtubs, sofas or garden tents. It is hoped that this special collaborative event will help YMCA raise more funding than ever in aid of youth homelessness.
Money raised from the event will go towards delivering much-needed support for residents and homeless young people every day.
Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England & Wales, said:
“It is unimaginable that any young person should be forced to sleep out, and yet the scale of the homeless population revealed by those housed as part of the Government’s ‘Everyone In’ initiative far exceeded any previous official estimate.
“As a year, 2020 was more difficult and heart-breaking than anyone could ever have anticipated, but one overwhelming positive that emerged was the power of community and the difference that can make to people’s lives.
“With this in mind, YMCA is calling on communities across the country to sleep somewhere other than their beds and help raise a record sum of money for this special Sleep Easy event. Please participate, donate and nominate others to take part and help spread the word: one night can make a lifetime of difference.”
YMCA Sleep Easy nights have been running since 2010, with more than 7,000 participants across the country helping to raise nearly £2.5m in aid of youth homelessness. Money generated during that time has supported local YMCAs in providing vital accommodation, training and employment, advice, and health and wellbeing services to almost 570,000 young people each year.
YMCA is the largest voluntary sector provider of supported housing for young people in England and Wales, providing a bed for 8,800 people each night and collectively helping more than 20,000 people experiencing homelessness each year.
Please, donate, participate or nominate to help end youth homelessness for good. For more information please visit: www.ymca.org.uk/sleepeasy