The Bournemouth branch of the YMCA is bringing back its eighth annual ‘Sleepeasy’ event this year to help raise money for local homeless people.
Members of the public will be spend a night sleeping in shelters made from cardboard boxes, donated by Bournemouth’s Big Yellow Self Storage Company, at various sites around Bournemouth in what is set to be the biggest year in the campaign’s history for the town.
Richard Chumbley, Communications Officer for YMCA Bournemouth, said:
“Bournemouth has a visible problem with homelessness, there’s no two ways about it and I think we all know about that living here.
“Sleepeasy is about fundraising to support our work, but also about raising people’s awareness and consciousness about the homelessness problem and the issues surrounding it.
“The night is not even a fraction of what people who are homeless go through, but the idea is to give local people a flavour of how cold it is and how lonely it could be if you’re on your own with no alternative.”
It is expected that up to one hundred people could participate in each event across Bournemouth, raising money before hand online through sponsorships.
Each sleep out begins at 7 PM on a Friday evening and ends at 8 AM the following morning. A number of local schools have shown interest in staging their own Sleepeasy events, with dates for those open to the public yet to be confirmed.
“The YMCA believe that everyone should have a safe and secure place to stay”, said Richard, “That is the fundamental reason we put on Sleepeasy.
“It is a fun event in a very secure environment. There’s often a competition to see who can build the best shelter and because we have some very kind supporters in the local area who donate prizes we award prizes for leading fundraisers.
“Each event has a good feeling about it, the people really do want to be involved and it feels like we come together as a group and a community.”
If you’d like to get involved with a Sleepeasy event in Bournemouth, you can find out more here.