Hundreds of volunteers to Sleep Easy in Wimbledon church grounds to raise funds for YMCA

Several hundred people will sleep under the stars in Kingston and Wimbledon next week for the sixth YMCA Sleep Easy event to raise funds for homeless people.

Two events will take place simultaneously in the Memorial Gardens in Kingston and outside the Holy Trinity Church in Wimbledon from 7pm on Friday 6th March until 6am the next morning.

Last year YMCA LSW helped and housed more than 500 people, working with them and giving them the support they need to move forward with their lives.

Sarah Ward, fundraising Officer at YMCA LSW said: “Sleep Easy is a really enjoyable and challenging event, but has a huge impact on people who are not as fortunate as those taking part.”

“Becoming homeless was an eye opener, that’s when I realised I needed to get myself sorted out.”

According to a quarterly survey conducted by The Greater London Authority (GLA), 2,565 people were recorded as sleeping rough in London on any one single night between October and December 2014 – an increase of 13% on the same period last year.

Last year 160 people turned up to show they care for vulnerable people in their community – over the last five years Sleep Easy has raised almost £70,000.

Matthew Campbell, 24, one of the participants and who used to be homeless, said: “When school ended I didn’t really know what to do. I kind of just drifted, and found myself without anywhere to go or anything to do.

“Becoming homeless was an eye opener, that’s when I realised I needed to get myself sorted out.”

With the help of YMCA LSW, Matthew got himself back on track. He is now studying for a degree in youth work and was recently awarded Youth Ambassador of the Year in the south east region for the Prince’s Trust.

For two years Matthew has been housed through the YMCA LSW Supported Lodgings Scheme which places young people aged 16-26 with a host family with a spare room to rent out.

He added: “The YMCA has helped me a great deal. It has given me the stability I need to complete my studies and has helped me progress in life.

“My host family is wonderful and has been very supportive.”

For further questions about Sleep Easy 2015, please contact Sarah Ward on 020 8339 7308 or [email protected]

Picture courtesy of YMCA London South West, with thanks

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