YMCA Horsham, part of YMCA DownsLink Group (YMCA DLG), is hosting a Sleep Easy event on Friday 22 March and staff from Horsham District Council will brave freezing conditions to combat youth homelessness by sleeping rough for the charity.
Participants will sleep out in the grounds of Horsham YMCA Football Club with just cardboard and sleeping bags to protect them from the elements.
Robert Jarvis, Head of Housing and Community Services at Horsham District Council, said: “Working on a day to day basis to help homeless people in our district, and as a previous participant of a Sleep Easy event, the opportunity to take part again was one not to be missed. So much of the great work that the YMCA is involved in relies upon the support and generosity of local residents. This support is needed now more than ever, given the financial pressures placed upon charities like the YMCA and the increasing numbers of people rough sleeping both locally and nationally.”
YMCA Horsham provides safe accommodation and opportunities for young people who have been made, or are at risk of becoming, homeless.
Steve Darken, Head of Operations West Sussex, said: “We are delighted to have the team from Horsham District Council join us for a night under the stars, raising money and awareness for homeless and vulnerable young people.
“We’re looking for local companies and individuals to get involved. We would love to hear from anyone interested in taking part. It won’t be warm or comfortable, and it’s not a true taste of homelessness, but it’s certainly a thought-provoking experience. I encourage anyone with a concern for the homeless to sign up and raise money to make a difference.”
Last year, YMCA DLG provided a home for more than 900 young people across West Surrey and East and West Sussex who would otherwise have been homeless. Adequate funding is a constant challenge. The Sleep Easy event means that money is available to support these young people beyond the confines of statutory funding.
A volunteer who took part in Sleep Easy last year said: “It was a really eye-opening experience. It made me think about things I hadn’t even considered before about sleeping rough. The work YMCA do is indispensable.”
Could you give up one night of comfort to make a lifetime of difference? Sleep Easy 2019 will take place on Friday 22 March. To find out more and sign up, please visit www.ymcadlg.org/sleep-easy or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be made at bit.ly/SleepEasy19
To watch a short film about last year’s Sleep Easy in Brighton & Hove, please visit www.ymcadlg.org/sleep-easy