For the very first time, YMCA Norfolk will be coming together with YMCAs from across England 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.
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 Norfolk is calling on the county to join in!
Money raised from the event will go towards delivering much needed support for residents and homeless young people.
YMCA Norfolk hosted its first Sleep Easy in 2010 and over the last decade has raised over £100,000 through the event. These funds have helped support nearly 500 people each year by providing accommodation and support to help vulnerable people towards independent living whilst also providing employment, training and work experience through social enterprises and employability projects.
This Sleep Easy will look different to 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 Norfolk raise more funding than ever in aid of youth homelessness.
Susie Knights, Marketing and Fundraising Manager of YMCA Norfolk, said:
“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.
“We know from our own experience over the past 165 years of working in Norfolk that without the support offered by YMCA and our partners, many more vulnerable young people would be forced to sleep on the streets with less options and less chance of realising their potential.
“With this in mind, we are calling on the community 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 to spread the word: one night can make a lifetime of difference.”
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.
For more information or to register for Virtual Sleep Easy 2021, please visit https://www.ymcanorfolk.org/get-involved/sleep-easy/ or contact our Events Officer Judy on firstname.lastname@example.org