Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who took part in #SleepEasy2020 at Derbyshire County Cricket Ground on Friday 6th March.
We are absolutely overjoyed that with all your efforts we managed to raise an incredible …….
What is Sleep Easy?
The aim is simple: spend a night challenging yourself to sleep rough, raising money to help change the lives of local people. All the money raised goes directly to YMCA Derbyshire projects, impacting your community and helping those most in need.
Where do the funds go?
Each year we provide accommodation and a safe front door for over 300 individuals. Our specialist team of health and wellbeing workers, support workers and volunteers are able to offer a wide range of education, training, work preparation and wellbeing opportunities to help young people explore and identify their pathway, sustain or move into education, training and employment and on to independent living.
As a direct result of Sleep Easy events we have been able to:
- Expand our accommodation provision to meet the increasing need for our services.
- Employ additional Health and Wellbeing workers to support and empower our young people to move towards positive futures.
Please join us for Sleep Easy 2020 and help us to continue supporting those most in need in our city.
Our young people
Lily arrived at YMCA Derbyshire due to trouble at home and was experiencing issues with her mental health. She had been attending sixth form but was finding her attendance was dropping and eventually ended up leaving.
“Whilst being with YMCA, I got support when it was needed and got involved in many activities such as football”.
Lily went through a lot of changes whilst being at our YMCA but it was getting involved in health and wellbeing activities such as football that started Lily on her positive pathway.
“After leaving sixth form I got a job with an events company, it was fun and I got to work at festivals and Wembley.
I then got on to YMCA Derbyshire’s Independent Living course and learnt about how to pay bills and budget my money. I then got accepted on to the YMCA and Toyota Working Assets programme. This gave me valuable work experience opportunities and we went on a trip to London”.
Lily really excelled during her time on the Toyota Working Assets programme. She completed a 23 week work experience programme including 120 hours work experience. Lily also went back in to education and gained four A-Levels last summer. Lily’s now living in her own home and has big plans for the future, this September she is going to University to study Law.
“In the future I want to be a Lawyer”.
We are so proud of what Lily has achieved. Most recently Lily was awarded our Chairs award at our annual celebration event to recognise the positive journey she has been on. We are so glad to have been able to play a part in Lilys journey and can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.
Mikey first joined our YMCA when he was 16 because of issues at home.
“Being away from my family was weird, standing on my own two feet was daunting, having to sort out rent and benefits was difficult to start with but staff helped, they sat me down and explained it all to me.
When I first came here I was trying to find myself and trying to fit in, which is when the problems started. I was rebelling against staff as I thought people would think I was cool. Then I got asked to leave.
I’ve sofa surfed, been in B&Bs and pretty much every housing association in Derby but I’ve grown up with being around YMCA. I’m comfortable here and I can be myself here. I’m at the point where I can acknowledge when I’ve done something wrong and can change things so that I don’t do it again.
I can come in and say that I am having a bad day but staff will respect that and talk to me. You give what you want to take out. The majority of my long-term friendships are with people that I have met at the YMCA”.
Mikey’s achieved so much in the past year especially. He joined the Toyota Working Assets programme where he got help with his Maths and English and completed 120 hours work experience within security. He prepared and delivered an excellent speech talking about the positive impact of the programme at The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) graduation event in London.
“I look at where I am now to where I was this time last year. I was doing nothing, smoking drugs, just passing the day. I now want to find a job, I know people here would be pleased for me if I got a job. When I do get one, I will still find time to come to the YMCA. It’s like me and the YMCA are an elastic band – I’ll go so far and then come back. It feels like home”.
We are so proud of Mikey and can’t wait to see what’s next for him.
What does the Sleep Easy involve?
The night involves activities that best replicate what it’s like to actually sleep on the streets. You will be provided with hot refreshments and materials (cardboard boxes) to make a shelter.
Sleeping outside, you will experience what it’s like to get minimal sleep as you feel vulnerable to the elements and other people around.
At sunrise, hot drinks and breakfast will be available before you return back to normal life after just one night on the streets. Sadly, for thousands of young people, the reality is very different.
How else could I support?
You can also sponsor individuals taking part or donate directly to our Sleep Easy appeal.
Our Sleep Easy event gets bigger each year. We’d welcome any donations or sponsorship for the event and would publically recognise this support in an agreed and appropriate manor. Please call 01332 579558 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss sponsorship options.
Our vital work needs to continue in 2020. Sleeping rough for one night enables us to ensure young people like Mikey and Lily have a safe place to sleep and the support they need to enable them to belong, contribute and thrive.