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YMCA Norfolk calls on supporters to sleep under the stars.

22 January 2018

YMCA Norfolk is calling on people from all galaxies to join them in the fight against youth homelessness in the county and sleep rough for one Star Wars themed night in March.

The local youth charity, which has worked in Norfolk for the past 160 years, is hosting its eighth annual Sleep Easy fundraiser at Norwich School from 7pm on Friday March 9 to 7am the following morning. The event will see participants sleep rough for an evening to not only raise money but also awareness of youth homelessness.

The Norwich event will be themed around the Star Wars films, so expect to see the odd Jedi Knight or Storm Trooper turn up to join in the fun and games planned for the evening.

YMCA Norfolk is one of a number of YMCAs across the country that will join forces to raise awareness during the national Sleep Easy Week (March 9 to 16). It has hosted Sleep Easy nights since 2011 and the money raised has helped support its work with 240 young people each year, provide safe accommodation, counselling support and positive activities to help those young people reach their full potential.

Tim Sweeting, YMCA Norfolk Chief Executive, said: “Sleep Easy 2018 is a fantastic chance for local people to help tackle the huge homelessness problem in our community. Engaging in the event will help raise awareness of the issue as well as badly-needed funds to provide services. We are calling on people to help us support young people – one night out can make a lifetime of difference

“We are very grateful to Norwich School for showing incredible support with the venue and enabling lots of students to participate in the event. It promises to be a very enjoyable and thought provoking night!

Mike Mills, from Early Help North, East and Broadland, has taken part for the past two years, he said: “Last year I was challenged when some young people shared their story of how they became homeless and how they lost everything with no hope. I heard about how YMCA gave hope to those young people, helped them have a safe place to live and get their life back on track. It is stories like this that make me want to raise awareness of youth homelessness and to help put a stop to this.

“I dare everyone to take the challenge to sleep rough for just one night and realise what young people are facing on a daily basis across Norfolk and the country. Everyone is valuable and no one should be living on the streets with no hope. Let’s bring hope back to those young people today!”

To register for the Sleep Easy event with YMCA Norfolk contact Judy Bailey on judy.bailey@ymcanorfolk.org or visit www.ymcanorfolk.org/events/sleepeasy

Pictured above are participants in last year’s Sleep Easy event.