YMCA HUMBER’s Sleep Easy event made a successful return to Scunthorpe’s New Life Church on Friday 31st January, with 35 participants taking to their cardboard shelters to raise money for homeless charities.
Organisers were delighted to bring the event back to the Brumby Wood Lane site, having originally held it at the church in 2012.
Funds raised from the event will be jointly shared between YMCA Humber and the Lighthouse, on Frodingham Road in the North Lincolnshire town.
David Wooldridge, Homeless Services Manager at the Lighthouse, explained how funds would be utilised in Scunthorpe.
He said: “We’ll be looking to use any money for our Opening Doors course. The course is a pre-tenancy course which helps people learn how to be a good tenant – aimed at those who perhaps haven’t had that chance before.”
Despite a wet night and sodden conditions underfoot, participants bedded down in the church’s garden area in a variety of different cardboard shelters.
Rough sleepers on the night included local MP Nic Dakin, a team from North Lincolnshire-based Fluent Coaching and another team of young ladies, the Sleeping Rough’ians, some of whom had travelled from as far as Nottingham.
But one of the standout fundraising teams on the night were the Bentham Family, who are originally from the South East.
The team of two adults and three young people were housed in an intrically-created cardboard shelter, complete with individual compartments to sleep in.
Participating in the 12-hour Sleep Easy event prompted daughter Charlotte to post the following on social media.
She said: “I slept under the stars in a cardboard box to raise money for the YMCA, so that they can help homeless people.
“It is an amazing experience but an emotionally challenging because I know I have somewhere warm to go after the night but for many others this is their reality night after night.
“We walk past them and never bat an eyelid, our actions make them feel worthless and invisible but I have learned that many homeless people are ex-servicemen who can’t cope with the type of life we live day-to-day or people that have been abused in their homes and only feel safe on the streets.
“They don’t deserve to be the invisible people, that’s why we are sleeping rough in order to get the message out and hopefully save the lives of these ‘invisible’ people.
It really is the least I can do…sleep one night in the freezing in order to keep many others off the streets for a lifetime.
“The money will help them get their lives back on track, help them get jobs and re-build their lives. It is amazing to think that WE could save their lives.”
For more information on Sleep Easy or to donate to the cause, visit www.sleepeasy.gcymca.com or call (01472) 693388.