27 March 2018

Local people have helped to raise over £8,500 so far for YMCA Sutton Coldfield at a fundraising event last Friday night that saw people spending the whole night in a DIY cardboard bed in the Gracechurch Centre.

More than 50 people took part at the event on 23rd March including local Cllr Clare Horrocks, helping to raise money for the local youth and children’s charity YMCA Sutton Coldfield. Participants included students from local BMET college and children from the Deanery Primary School as well as lots of local business owners.

Jack Dromey, MP for Erdington, also attended the fundraiser to offer encouragement to participants and raise awareness of homelessness suggesting that “in the 21st century, there should be no such thing”.

With jazz music from The Five Knights of Nectar, and performances from YMCA’s own KKats Disability Group, there was something for everyone at this community event. Participants were also treated to hot soup later on in the evening courtesy of the nearby Ramada Hotel as well as Nando’s chicken.

It was all part of the national YMCA Sleep Easy series of events that saw YMCAs across the country come together to raise awareness and funds to prevent youth homelessness.

Kate Davarzadeh, 36, who attended the Sleep Easy for the first time, tells us more about the impact of the experience “The experience of sleeping rough for the night made me think a lot about what homeless people have to endure every night. It was cold, noisy and uncomfortable. I hope that the event will raise awareness about youth homelessness and that the money raised will help to provide somewhere safe to sleep for those in need.”

The total amount raised is still being calculated and the local charity is hoping to beat last year’s fundraising amount of £10,000. With a donation of £700 from School Farm Townswomen’s Guild and a cheque for £250 presented by Care Watch, all money raised will be used to support YMCA Sutton Coldfield’s services for children and young people.

Clive Yates, YMCA Sutton Coldfield’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re thrilled about the event’s success and I’d like to thank each and every one of the people who took part and spent the night out with us as well as all the local businesses who donated raffle prizes and food for the event.

“As an independent charity, we rely heavily on local support so we’re extremely grateful to the people of the Sutton Coldfield community who made this event possible.”

“Thanks to your support we can now help even more young people than before and support them to realise their full potential.”

YMCA Sutton Coldfield which has provided services to residents of Sutton Coldfield since 1900 and changes the lives of hundreds of young people and their families each year, not only provides accommodation to prevent youth homelessness but also supports disadvantaged young people and young carers as well as children and young people with disabilities.

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