26th Feb, 2017

Support charity urges Coventrians to 'sleep easy' for homeless fundraising challenge

A SUPPORT charity is urging Coventrians to take part in an annual ‘Sleep Easy’ fundraising event to support some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

YMCA Coventry and Warwickshire will host the event on Friday, March 3 to raise awareness of youth homelessness while raising vital funds to support young people.

Participants will have to brave the cold and sleep outside in a make shift cardboard box at the Butts Park Arena.

This year marks the first ever national ‘Sleep Easy Week’ – which has been organised to take place between March 3 and March 10 by the 15 national YMCA branches across the UK.

With aims to get 100 people involved and raise more than £20,000, the charity – which provides accommodation to more than 70 young people in the city and Rugby at any one time – has set the bar high.

Andy Winter, YMCA Coventry and Warwickshire chief executive, said: “YMCAs across the country are holding Sleep Easy events at the same time to raise much needed awareness of the plight of rough sleeping among young people.

“We believe that no young person should ever have to be homeless let alone sleep rough – one night out can make a lifetime of difference.

“The more people who get involved in the sleep out, the more young people we will be able to help with our work in the local area.”

Participants will have to pay an entry fee of £20 for an individual or £50 for a team of up to six.

Last year, the charity event saw 65 people take part with more than £16,000 raised to support young people with advice, guidance, training and personal development opportunities.

John Kiely of Coventry McDonalds is supporting the event by providing a financial donation and offering a security guard.

Trained chef Jamie Grant will be making fresh soup for fundraisers and Wasps have donated tea, coffee and biscuits.

Visit www.ymca-cw.org.uk/sleep-easy-2016 to take part in Sleep Easy or email email events@ymca-cw.org.uk with pledges of other support.