OVER 30 fundraisers took to their cardboard boxes and spent a night under the stars at the Hull’s KC Lightstream Stadium on Friday 29 January raising funds for homeless charities in the city.
YMCA Humber’s Sleep Easy was being held for its fifth year in the city but for the first time at the KC Lightstream Stadium, home of rugby Super League side Hull KR.
And fundraisers braved low temperatures and gale force winds for 12 hours to raise funds for homeless charities YMCA Humber and Child Dynamix, as well as raise awareness of the plight of youth homelessness in Hull.
Sarah Hatfield is Head of Children and Young People’s Services at Child Dynamix and she spoke of the effect she hoped the event would have on homelessness in the city.
She said: “It’s not just about people who are out on the street sleeping rough.
“It’s also about those who are sofa-surfing or staying with friends and relatives and they don’t really know where they’ll end up.
“Young people become homeless for all kinds of reasons but charities like YMCA and Child Dynamix are there to help them with their problems, works out what is wrong and try to help them manage their relationships better.
“That is why events like Sleep Easy are so important because the money raised goes directly into supporting young people in Hull.”
One of the fundraisers who took part on the night was Vicky O’Grady, Business Development Manager for Ability IT, her third Sleep Easy in total.
She added: “I keep taking part because I think it is an important issue that needs more recognition.
“It is becoming harder and harder for some young people to make ends meet and they need support off charities like YMCA and Child Dynamix, so you know that your fundraising is making a real difference.”
Jonathan Byrne is YMCA Humber’s Communications Coordinator and he was taking part in his tenth Sleep Easy event in total. He spoke about the great community spirit at the Hull event.
He said: “I think the thing that stood out most about the Hull event was the tremendous atmosphere that our fundraisers generated and the camaraderie between them all.
“There were so many people on hand to help each other building shelters or making modifications to cardboard dens and even providing spare blankets to keep others warm.
“It is very heart-warming to see so many like-minded people raising awareness of a great cause.”
Participants were also treated to a surprise appearance from Rufus Robin, Hull KR’s mascot and the club also donated chilli and rice, which went down extremely well as sleepers looked to fend off the dropping temperatures.
Jonathan added: “The support we have received from Hull KR has been fantastic.
“Staff at the club have helped us promote the event and also taken part on the night, as well as provide donations of food and drink to keep everyone warm.”
For more information on Sleep Easy, please visit www.sleep-easy.co.uk. Donation pages will remain open until mid-March.
YMCA Humber and Child Dynamix would like to thank Garthwest for their donation of cardboard to the event.