The Sleep Easy event will take place in the Memorial Gardens in Kingston and outside the Holy Trinity Church in Wimbledon on Friday the 6th of March at 7 pm. The sleep out for one night will be in solidarity with the growing number of homeless people in London.

While the one night can’t replicate the true extent of what homeless young people are going through, it gives an experience and a better understanding of being on the streets.

This annual 11-hour sleep out will help fund the work of projects such as the YMCA LSW Resettlement project which last year housed over 500 local people.[1]  A quarterly survey conducted by the Greater London Authority suggested that 2,565 people were recorded as sleeping rough in London on any one single night between October and December 2014, an increase of 13 per cent[2].  The fact that this is the case suggests that something needs to be done, and Sleep Easy 2015 will raise sponsorship money towards the Merton Winter Night Shelter and YMCA LSW’s work with the homeless. Since the event began five years ago, almost £1 million pounds has been raised by hundreds of people who chose to sleep rough for just one night.[3]

This year the event has a target of £24,000, which will go towards helping young people in poverty

Sleep Easy 2015 will offer ‘a feel of how it is to live on the streets’ just like Matthew Campbell aged 24, who will be participating in the event, did some years ago when he became homeless and had to sleep rough.

When school ended I didn’t really know what to do. I kind of just drifted, and found myself without anywhere to go or anything to do. Becoming homeless was an eye-opener, that’s when I realised I needed to get myself sorted out’.

With YMCA LSW’s help Matthew was able to get back on track and is now studying a degree in Youth Work. He has also been awarded Youth Ambassador of the Year in the South East region for the Prince’s Trust. With such good work there is no doubt that the money raised from this event will be spent on a good cause. Matthew has been housed through the YMCA LSW-supported Lodging Scheme which places people aged 16-26 with a host family, who have a spare room to rent out. Matthew says that ‘The YMCA has helped me a great deal. It has given me the stability I need to complete my studies and has helped me progress in life. My host family is wonderful and has been very supportive’.

The event will take place either at Everyday Church, Union Street, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 1RP or Holy Trinity Church, The Broadway, London, SW19 1SB.

The evening will be an event for the whole family, with a chance of winning prizes. These include:

  • The highest sponsorship raised per registration
  • The group who has the most amount of people registered
  • The quiz master
  • Spot prizes
  • Shelter building competition

Those Under 18 can participate and sleepers aged 15 and under must be accompanied by a participating adult.  A non-refundable registration fee of £10 or £5 for those under 18 must be paid, this includes hot soup at midnight and breakfast in the morning. Participants also get a warm Sleep Easy beanie hat. Participants can register on the night of Sleep Easy at both venues, dependent on maximum capacity. Registration on the night is £15 or £7 for Under 18s.

The Itinerary of the event is as follows:

6.00 – 7.00 pm: Registration

7.00 – 7.30 pm: Refreshments and Opening Speeches

7.30 pm: Cutting of the tape and official opening of Sleep Easy 2015

7.30 – 9.45 pm: Shelter building competition

10.00 pm: Winners of the competition are announced!

12 am : Hot soup served

5.30 am: Clear up

6.00 am: Breakfast

If you require any more information please read more about Sleep Easy here.

If you wish to sign up for the Kingston event click here, or the Wimbledon event click here.