29 March 2016

Local people helped to raise over £15,000 for YMCA Coventry & Warwickshire at its annual ‘Sleep Easy’ event on Friday 18th March.

More than 60 people took part, sleeping out at Coventry Cathedral for the night to raise funds and raise awareness of the hardship young, homeless people endure on a night rough sleeping.

The money raised was record breaking and beat last year’s amount by over £10,000.

Andy Winter, YMCA Coventry & Warwickshire Chief Executive, said: “’Sleep Easy’ went better than we expected and even better than last year. I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who took part and spent the night out with us.

“We hope that this has helped everyone have a better understanding of how difficult it is to endure homelessness.”

YMCA Coventry & Warwickshire has operated in the area for over 125 years. This fundraising event saw participants sleeping on DIY cardboard beds from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and the funds raised will be used to continue to work with young people providing accommodation, advice, training and personal development opportunities.

Throughout the night, participants were each given some food and hot drinks to keep them safe and well and braziers provided some warmth.

Jessica Gartside, a participant at Sleep Easy said, “It puts life into perspective, we’re thankful for the experience. It was just one single cold night. We had more comfort than any homeless person would usually have, so I’m astounded at how they keep going, it must feel like an ongoing battle of sanity, pride, safety.

“It was a very emotional experience and it hits home as to how much I now appreciate my life, more so than ever before”.

YMCA Coventry & Warwickshire is part of a federation of 113 independent YMCAs, forming the oldest and largest youth charity in the world. Last year, YMCA Coventry & Warwickshire provided 167 young people with warm, safe and stable accommodation.

To make a donation text Easy10 and£10 (or the amount of your choice) to 70070 or visit www.ymca-cw.org.uk to find out more about volunteering for YMCA Coventry & Warwickshire.