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YMCA SleepEasyKevinDynes750
YMCA Norfolk supporters sleep rough to fundraise 

Supporters of YMCA Norfolk have raised over £4,000 in aid of youth homelessness by sleeping in cardboard boxes, bathtubs, on kitchen floors, in warehouses and in gardens as part of national Sleep Easy event 2021.

Local people helped raise the much-needed funds for YMCA Norfolk by taking part in a mammoth virtual Sleep Easy event on Friday March 26, vital funds from which will go towards tackling the root causes of youth homelessness. 
Individuals, families, local businesses and church groups took part in the event, which saw people across the country sleeping anywhere but their beds to raise awareness of the thousands of young people who are made homeless each year.  
The event itself looked a little different to previous years, as Covid-19 has not just had an impact on homelessness services but on fundraising as well. Traditionally an event that brings lots of the community together in one place, this year’s Sleep Easy challenged fundraiser’s creativity as streets and outdoor venues were replaced by bathtubs, kitchen floors, warehouses and gardens. 
The money raised will be used to support YMCA Norfolk’s services for children and young people.  
Susie Knights, Marketing & Fundraising Manager of YMCA Norfolk said:  “We’re absolutely thrilled with the success of this year’s Sleep Easy and can’t thank everyone enough for participating, donating and nominating – you are all incredible!  
“As a year, 2020 was more challenging than anyone could ever have anticipated, but one overwhelming positive that emerged was the power of community and the difference that can make to people’s lives. 
“Thanks to the support received we can now help even more vulnerable young people and support them to realise their full potential. One night really can make a lifetime of difference.” 
Jessica Sprouse, 23, participant of Sleep Easy 2021, said: “The experience was more challenging than I expected, and I was truly struck by the physical and emotional toll of just one night of sleeping uncomfortably.  It has made me reflect on how exhausting it must be for those faced with multiple nights on the streets, who unlike me do not have the option to return to a safe and comfortable bed.
“I am really glad I took part, not only to help raise money for this important cause, but because it has made me consider the harsh reality faced by other young people who are experiencing homelessness.”
Judy Bailey, Events Officer of YMCA Norfolk, who also participated in the Sleep Easy, said:  “No matter how cold and uncomfortable it was we knew it was only for one night. For anyone having to face the reality of getting through a day with nowhere to go and then sleep rough again at night is overwhelming.  
“Knowing the money we raised will mean YMCA Norfolk can continue to offer help to vulnerable young people in the county was really motivating.” 
YMCA Norfolk has operated in the county since 1856 housing over 400 people each year supporting them towards independent living. 
For more information on Sleep Easy 2021 click here.  
Pictured taking part in the YMCA Norfolk Sleep Easy 2021 is On Track Coach Kevin Dynes. 

Keith Morris, 30/03/2021

Keith Morris

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