On a chilly March evening in 2017 one hundred local people steeled themselves to sleep rough outside St Michael’s School in the centre of Bournemouth as part of the YMCA’s Sleep Easy event. Bournemouth YMCA rounded up people willing to brave the elements to raise vital funds and awareness to combat youth homelessness and help change the lives of vulnerable people.
During the course of the night there was a shelter competition, where participants battled it out to build the best cardboard accommodation. There was also a quiz with prizes, ‘keep warm’ exercises, a ‘diary room’ booth where participants recorded their experiences and some surprises from the event sponsors to spur everybody on, too.
In order to take part, volunteers paid a £5 registration fee and were required to pledge a minimum sponsorship of £50.
Since the very first YMCA Sleep Easy event in 2010, more than one million pounds has been raised across the country by volunteers sleeping rough to experience first-hand what one night in the lives of the tens of thousands of UK homeless people is like.