SleepEasy is a national YMCA campaign that each year seeks to highlight the issues facing those sleeping rough as well as local YMCA services.
Here in Bedfordshire we had the privilege of hosting a group of fantastic people ranging from local young people to Bedford MP Mohammad Yasin and Channel 4 personality Max McMurdo for 12 hours.
It was an amazing night with everyone rallying together to experience what 76 rough-sleepers in Bedford and 87 in Luton have to go through every night until they are housed.
With teams joining us from Capita, Viking Storage and I&A Restaurants McDonalds as well as local people, families, youth groups and several Councillors there was a great atmosphere.
The evening started with everyone making themselves some sort of shelter with boxes kindly donated by our event corporate partner Viking Self Storage. This was followed by YMCA Bedfordshire staff giving an introduction to our services and quizzes about homelessness.
Whilst it may have snowed overnight and we woke up to freezing temperatures we were warmly welcomed to a cooked breakfast thanks to the utterly incredible Zach and his team from the Rapid Relief Team. I“ve never been so pleased to see a group of happy faces at 5:30am!
We must also give a HUGE thanks to the folks at Crescent Care Foundation who stepped in at the 11th hour to provide tarpaulin which was much needed!
Five weeks on and the amount raised, inclusive of gift aid, now stands at an incredible £17,300.00 which is way above what we could have hoped for and is our largest SleepEasy amount ever.
To everyone who took part and to all those who sponsored them. a massive thank you.