26 February 2020

Following on from last year’s successful Sleep Easy in Sutton town centre, local charity YMCA Sutton Coldfield is calling on local residents and businesses to come together and sleep rough for one night in March to support local, homeless young people.

The event, sponsored by Plott Creative, takes place on Friday 27th March in the Gracechurch Shopping Centre and will see locals swapping their beds for boxes in an attempt to raise much-needed funds for the local children’s charity.

Last year’s event saw 125 people sleeping out in the cold in the annual YMCA Sleep Easy challenge which is now in its 11th year. The small but ambitious charity is looking to get more than 200 people to brave hard floors and freezing temperature for just one night in March 2020 in a bid to raise £20,000 to prevent youth homelessness. In particular, they’re looking for local Sutton businesses to unite and show young people that they’re not alone.

The event aims to raise awareness of hidden homelessness but also to bring Sutton businesses and local residents together as a community. Headlining the event will be local vocal duo Carrick Music who played live music at the 2019 event and were keen to support once again this year. Radio Presenter and professional Podcaster Pete Morgan is also getting involved and will take to the mic on the night, entertaining participants late into the evening. Staffordshire’s first female Poet Laureate Emily Rose is performing live poetry on the night and avid supporters Bhangra Blaze and Resonate Drum Workshops will be keeping everyone warm with their interactive sessions and workshops.

The Deli Collective in Boldmere will be treating participants to cakes and bakes and fellow charity RRT who support homeless charities and provide emergency catering for major incidents in the Midlands, have also offered support. Richard Ball and his Rapid Relief Team will be providing a hot BBQ breakfast on the Saturday morning, giving something back to participants, organisers and volunteers.

Local resident and business owner Phil Arkinstall is bringing his daughter this year:

The YMCA Sleep Easy event is a great way to raise money for a worthy cause by experiencing just some of the hardship of sleeping rough. This year I’m bringing my 9 year old daughter along as I felt it was important for her to experience what it can be like to live on the streets.

Phil Arkinstall, Managing Director, Ark Media

YMCA Sutton Coldfield has hosted Sleep Easy nights since 2009 and last year raised over £13k, transforming the lives of disadvantaged young people in Sutton Coldfield. Money raised paid for 1-2-1 support, mentoring and coaching for young carers and residents in crisis as well as much needed practical items such as mattresses, bedding and a daily breakfast for people staying at the local charity.

The charity, which works with over 1000 young people and their families each year, not only provides accommodation to prevent youth homelessness but also provides crucial support and respite services for young carers and disabled children and adults.

Anita Ellis, Marketing Manager at YMCA Sutton Coldfield tells us how you can get involved:

If you and your team are looking to take on a fun challenge that doesn’t require any training, this could be the event for you! We’d love to see as many Sutton businesses sign up as possible, showing their support for a community charity.

Anita Ellis, Marketing Manager, YMCA Sutton Coldfield

To register, you can find the event on Facebook (YMCA Sutton Coldfield), sign up online at Eventbrite and ymcasc.org.uk or contact Anita Ellis on 0121 354 5614.