SCL Podcast ep16: YMCA Sleepeasy

by Charlotte Smith

Welcome to the Sutton Coldfield Local Community Podcast episode 16: YMCA Sleepeasy Event

Thank you to Sutton Coldfield Town Centre BID for supporting this podcast www.suttoncoldfieldtowncentre.co.uk

On Friday 27th March over seventy people took part in the YMCA’s Sleep Easy event in the Gracechurch Centre, Sutton Coldfield, to raise awareness of youth homelessness.

keeping warm with a few exercises

Keeping warm with a few exercises

Caring volunteers from Sutton Coldfield’s YMCA held their second successful overnight Corporate Sleep Easy event this year, 7pm – 7am, to raise funds for their projects and get local businesses, organisations and teams involved in the unique experience.

Kirsty Burden, Streetwise project manager for the YMCA, said: “We’ve been doing this now for years and years and years, but this is our second ever corporate event.

“There’s a bigger turnout than last year so it’s looking very positive and hopefully we’ll give people the insight into what it’s like to be homeless and how it feels.

“They’re all adults so they’ve got to think about what it’s like for a young person doing the same thing.”

Some eighty people got involved in the experience throughout the night, including representatives from Nando’s, Specsavers, Ramada Hotel and many more.



During the night hot drinks were available, while the local fire service and a magician provided entertainment and participants got involved with various fun activities, such as Jumbo Jenga and Irish dancing to keep them warm.

Sinead Frith was pleased with the amount of people getting involved to raise awareness and said: “Particularly in an area like Sutton Coldfield where it’s perceived to be an affluent area and sometimes the perception is that homelessness doesn’t exist here.

“But that’s not reality, so we want to make sure people realise that it is an issue that there are people sleeping rough in Sutton Coldfield.”

The aim is to provide a rough night sleep outdoors for participants, having only cardboard for shelter, to help raise awareness of the issue of youth homelessness.

Sleep Easy is a YMCA fundraising event to help young vulnerable people, with all money raised going directly to local YMCA projects to positively support and impact the young community.

Kirsty Burden adds: “Hopefully it’ll be bigger and better next year, and hopefully it’s just going to grow and grow and more and more people will take part.

To find out more about YMCA Sutton Coldfield visit www.suttoncoldfieldymca.org.uk. You’ll also find them on Twitter @ymcasutcol and @ymcastreetwise

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