5th Dec, 2016

Coventry residents sleep rough to raise awareness for the homeless

Shaun Reynolds 28th Mar, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

LOCAL people sacrificed one night of comfort to raise funds and awareness for YMCA Coventry and Warwickshire at its annual ‘Sleep Easy’ event on Friday (March 18).

More than 60 people slept rough for one night at Coventry Cathedral to raise a record breaking £15,000 for the cause – £10,000 better than last year.

Operating in the city for over 125 years, YMCA Coventry and Warwickshire runs the annual event where participants sleep on DIY cardboard beds from 7am until 7pm.

Funds raised are used to continue to work with young people – providing accommodation, advice, training and personal development opportunities.

Throughout the night, participants were each given some food and hot drinks to keep them safe and well and braziers provided some warmth.

Last year, YMCA Coventry and Warwickshire provided 167 young people with warm, safe and stable accommodation.

Andy Winter, YMCA Coventry and Warwickshire chief executive, said: “Sleep Easy went better than last year.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part and spent the night out with us.

“We hope that this has helped everyone have a better understanding of how difficult it is to endure homelessness.”

Jessica Gartside, a participant at Sleep Easy said, “It puts life into perspective, we’re thankful for the experience – it was just one single cold night.

“We had more comfort than any homeless person would usually have, so I’m astounded at how they keep going – it must feel like an ongoing battle of sanity, pride, safety.

“It was a very emotional experience and it hits home as to how much I now appreciate my life, more so than ever before.”

To make a donation text Easy10 and £10 – or the amount of your choice – to 70070 or visit www.ymca-cw.org.uk to find out more about volunteering for YMCA Coventry and Warwickshire.