Big sleep out raises £42,000 for homeless projects

YMCA Sleep Easy Brighton & Hove participants
YMCA Sleep Easy Brighton & Hove participants

Ninety volunteers took part in a sleep out on Friday (March 16) to raise cash for a scheme which aims to end homelessness in Brighton and Hove.

The fundraisers bedded down in freezing temperatures in the grounds of BHASVIC as part of YMCA DownsLink Group’s (YMCA DLG) Sleep Easy event, with Urban Spaceman supplying cardboard boxes on the night.

Cash raised will go towards the charity’s Life Change Fund, and Galvanise Brighton & Hove, a project run by YMCA DLG and other organisations which is part of the European Campaign to End Street Homelessness.

Hayley Davies slept out during the night and said it was ‘one night of cold and discomfort’.

“But I have the luxury of knowing I have a warm home to go back to,” she said. “I can’t believe that that’s not the reality for many.”

At the last count there were 178 rough sleepers in Brighton and Hove, compared to last year’s figure of 144.

William Baldwin, principal at BHASVIC, said: “BHASVIC is proud to have supported YMCA DownsLink Group in its efforts to help vulnerable and homeless people. We pride ourselves on our inclusivity and this extends to the wider community too. Homelessness does not stop at the college gates, and we need to ensure young people, and all other vulnerable people, are getting the support they deserve.”

Deputy mayor Dee Simson helped welcome participants in Brighton and Hove on the night, and there were also sleep outs in Guildford and Horsham.

Chas Walker, CEO of YMCA DLG, said: “On one of the coldest nights of the year, when many local authorities were implementing severe weather warning protocols to try and protect rough sleepers, 177 of our supporters were taking part in the YMCA DLG Sleep Easy event. They braved freezing temperatures to sleep out and raise awareness of the issue of homelessness and funds for the work of YMCA DownsLink Group and the Galvanise Brighton & Hove campaign.

“This heroic effort has got us very close to our £50k fundraising target and continued to raise the profile of the GalvaniseBH campaign – a community led response to rough sleeping. We are so thankful for the great work of all those involved.”

To donate, visit: www.bit.ly/SleepEasyGive

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