On Saturday 16th May Southend YMCA held its third annual youth homelessness fundraiser, Sleep Easy 2015. 40 participants including local businesses, staff, volunteers and members of the public slept rough overnight, housed within a cardboard box under the stars.
Participants were sponsored to take part, with the funds raised going towards housing development for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people at risk of homelessness.
Tom Moulton, Sleep Easy coordinator said, "We are so proud that in our third year we are getting members of our community come forward to take part in Sleep Easy. The difference they've made leaves a real legacy in Southend, providing housing for young people that would be homeless without our intervention"
Waitrose Leigh-on-Sea kindly sponsored the event, providing all the refreshments throughout the night and a hot breakfast in the morning. Jared Hughes, Waitrose Manager said, "We have built a strong relationship with the YMCA in recent years and we have been delighted to support this event for the last two years. The YMCA makes a significant difference to the local community."
Sponsorship is currently being collated, however, we anticipate around £3000 as a result of the event. The funds will support the development of our move-on properties for our young people ready to take that next step to independence from supported housing.
"We have several residents lined up to move into the properties over the next six weeks." Tom continues, "this is a reality because of the last three years of Sleep Easy and the support we have received from our communit."
Southend YMCA will be holding open days in June to showcase what Sleep Easy has made possible, allowing everyone that has taken part since 2013 to see the fruits of their labour.
For more information on young people's housing at Southend YMCA, or to hold your own Sleep Easy please call 01702 301301 or email
For a full photo gallery, go to www.facebook.com/SouthendYMCA.