On Friday 18th March YMCA North Tyneside held our first Sleep Easy 2016. The aim was simple: Spend a night sleeping rough to highlight the issue of youth homelessness and raise vital funds to support the work of your local YMCA.
The Sleep Easy is part of YMCA England‘s fundraising initiative raising money to help change the lives of vulnerable young people. Many Sleep Easy events take place across the country and last Friday it was our turn.
Over 71 people slept rough in St Cuthbert’s Roman Catholic Church Car Park, North Shields and the evening was a huge success. We had over 71 participants taking part, these included; members of North Tyneside Council, teachers from Norham High School, students from Excelsior Academy in Newcastle and many other individuals who felt passionate about the cause. We also had the award-winning The Fat Hippo providing burgers and chips on the evening to help keep individuals warm.
The final figures have been counted and from this event we have raised £5507.15, well over our initial target of £5000. All money raised will raised goes directly to the YMCA North Tyneside Supported Accommodation projects, Sir James Knott house and Community house. These projects enables us to provide a bed, vital 1:1 support and a range of positive programmes for vulnerable young to help them enter education, gain employment, live independently and become contributing members of society.
Did you know?
- Over 1000 young people contact North Tyneside Housing Advice team each year
- 400 young people (ages 16-25) are referred to North Tyneside Council for housing and support
- needs each year
- 551 young people were roofless in North Tyneside in 2013/14
These figures have and are growing!
Dean our CEO said: “Housing is a big area of concern for us and it’s an issue we really need to tackle. We’re seeing a rise in demand for our support services and shared housing is fast-becoming the only affordable housing option for many young people. By sleeping rough, we aim to highlight these issues in a stark way.”
We are very excited to announce after the success of our first YMCA Sleep Easy, planning has begun for our second YMCA Sleep Easy! Keep an eye out on our website for further details being released very soon
If you would like more information on our Supported Accommodation projects visit our Housing page.
We would like to thank St Cuthbert’s Roman Catholic Church for allowing us to use their facilities. Please find out more here: http://www.northtynesidecatholic.org.uk/
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Photography by Jamie Penfold:© jamie penfold photography 2015 – www.memoriesandemotions.co.