Imagine having no home to call you own, spending your days wondering where you will sleep that night, sleeping in your car or making do kipping on a mate’s floor and feeling too ashamed to tell people you have nowhere to call home.

Sleep Easy is a fundraising challenge event asking you to spend one night sleeping on the sofa or the floor to experience just a fraction of what many young homeless people deal with every single night.

Our most recent Sleep Easy challenge was a Sofa surf to help raise awareness of the issues of hidden homelessness.

Hidden homelessness is an ever growing problem and for young people especially, sofa surfing has become a huge issue. Research by the charity Crisis indicates that about 62% of single homeless people are hidden and may not show up in official figures.

Sofa surfing is thought to be the largest form of homelessness. Data suggests that 35% of all young people have experienced sofa surfing at some point in their lives and research estimates on any given night, at least 200,000 young people are sofa surfing.

Since 2010, YMCA Sleep Easy events have seen more than 7,000 people sleep rough and sofa surf to raise more than £1.5m for local YMCA services that help young people rebuild their lives.

Keiran came to YMCA Sutton Coldfield when he was just 18 having spent several months sofa surfing; he was homeless and desperate with nowhere to go.

“I was in a really bad place when I first came to the YMCA. I’m so grateful for all the support that the staff have offered me. It’s a great place to stay and the YMCA have really helped me get back on my feet.”

Kieran, Resident at YMCA Sutton Coldfield

By taking part in our Sleep Easy event and raising sponsorship donations you can help us to raise vital funds to help us tackle the root causes of youth homelessness and support young people like Keiran.

Everyone is welcome and getting involved is easy! Sign up grab a sleeping bag, and sleep somewhere other than your bed – sofa surf or if your prefer sleep in your garden, lounge, hallway, or other safe space.

Our next Sleep Easy will be held next year on a date TBD.

This year, we smashed our £12,000 target and raised an amazing £15,000!

If you are a business and would like to sponsor Sleep Easy, or if you have any questions about the event at all, please contact us at 0121 354 5614 or email sarah.sylvester@ymcasc.org.uk

Share your #YMCASleepEasy stories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #sleeproughsoothersdonthaveto and tag us @YMCASuttonColdfield (Facebook and Instagram) or @ymcasutcol (Twitter).

Want to make a one time donation? Text SLEEPEASY followed by the amount you would like to donate to 70450. For example, SLEEPEASY10 would donate £10. Texts cost the amount you have donated plus one standard rate message.