YMCA HUMBER’S annual homelessness fundraiser, Sleep Easy, is to return to Freshney Place Shopping Centre in Grimsby for 2016.
The charity sleep out, which sees fundraisers take to cardboard boxes for one night to raise money for homeless charities in North East Lincolnshire, has taken place in the shopping centre’s multi-storey car park for the last two years and will return for a third event on Friday 29 January 2016.
In 2015, over 125 people bedded down for the night in the car park, a record number for the event.
They helped to raise over £20,000 for YMCA Humber and its partner charities, to allow them to continue their work with some of the region’s most vulnerable young people.
And organisers are hoping for another successful event in 2016. Jonathan Byrne, Communications Coordinator for YMCA Humber spoke about the continued importance of the Sleep Easy event in combatting the problem of youth homelessness.
He said: “National research shows that youth homelessness is significantly worse than official government figures show and we have a continuing problem with the ‘hidden homeless’, such as sofa surfers, and making those young people aware of how to register as homeless and access the support they need.
“The funds and awareness raised through our Sleep Easy event goes a long way to assisting with that and local reports suggest that the government grant that helps to keep nearly one million young people nationally off the streets is under threat.
“A proposed 1% rent reduction for social housing, included in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, would also have massive implications on our charity’s work, if it were to become law without modification.
“These are tough times for us all, especially our most vulnerable, so the fundraising we do through Sleep Easy will be more important than ever.
“The people of North East Lincolnshire have been so supportive of this event in the past and we are asking them again to take to their cardboard boxes, just for one night, to support those less fortunate.”
Sleep Easy has raised over £125,000 for homeless charities in the Humber Region, a significant portion of the £1.2-million raised nationally through the event. Every penny raised at the YMCA Humber event stays in this region and the charity have once again partnered with Harbour Place for the fundraising.
Dave Carlile, Project Coordinator for Harbour Place spoke about his hopes for Sleep Easy.
He said: “The 2015 event was our most well supported Sleep Easy ever and the funds raised have allowed us to carry on our work with people who would otherwise be out on the street – hopefully we can continue this success in 2016.”
YMCA are once again supported by Freshney Place, who are hosting the event in their car park and Jonathan spoke about the support the centre team provides.
He said: “A big thank you must go to the entire team at Freshney Place for all their support in hosting Sleep Easy – we could not do it without them – they go that extra mile that makes all the difference to our charitable work.”
Amanda Austin, Centre Director at Freshney Place Shopping Centre commented, “Following such a successful charity event at the beginning of the year, we’re absolutely thrilled to be hosting the 2016 Sleep Easy event again at Freshney Place Shopping Centre.
“125 people slept rough overnight in our East multi-storey car park to raise money for participating charities and it was a great feel good evening for all involved, with several of the centre team and our retailers taking part and donating much needed sandwiches and hot drinks.
“We encourage you to visit the website to register and join us on Friday 29 January to show your support for this fantastic cause!”
Registration for Sleep Easy 2016 is now open at www.sleep-easy.co.uk or by calling 01472 608 305.