13 March 2019

On Friday 8 March, 172 individuals from businesses and community groups across Derbyshire slept outside at Pattonair County Cricket Ground as part of YMCA Derbyshire’s Sleep Easy.

So far, more than £48,000 has been raised for the YMCA Derbyshire ‘Changing Lives’ programme, which will see new units opened for young people at risk of homelessness, and a bursary for those moving into employment. As a direct result of the £40,000 raised for Sleep Easy 2018, we were able to acquire and refurbish 12 new units of accommodation, enabling us to provide safe and supportive accommodation to around 36 more individuals each year.

This was the ninth Sleep Easy for YMCA Derbyshire, and the biggest yet. Sleeping outside, participants could experience what it’s like to get minimal sleep as they felt vulnerable to the elements and other people around. Hot drinks and breakfast were served just before sunrise by RRT Nottingham, before normal life resumed after one night on the streets. Sadly, for thousands of young people, the reality is very different.

Following the event, participants shared their experiences on social media:

“WOW! What an incredible amount of money to raise and it’s not too late to donate. We were very happy to take part in YMCA’s Sleep Easy” University of Derby Volunteering Champions

“A quick thank you to everyone who so generously supported me at last weekend’s event. Difficult to convey how much I appreciate your kindness, but you did a wonderful thing.” Richard, Code Print

“For #YMCASleepEasy we were lucky to have each other, sleeping bags, boxes to make shelter from and the luxury of returning home this morning. Lying awake because of the weather, noise and the unknown makes you realise how vital YMCA Derbyshire’s work is & the difference they make” Lucy K

“So I made it through YMCA SleepEasy and even managed to get a few hours sleep. But I was able to do that because there were security guards keeping me safe, I had access to hot drinks and running water and there was food available #othersdont YMCA Derbyshire”Ed, Ace Couriers

“A whopping £40k raised at last night’s #SleepEasy19 Well done to everyone that took part, especially our ladies Laura, Alice, Jo & Laura who soon realised how awful sleeping rough really is. Money raised is used to provide safe places for homeless people to stay” Maber Architects

“Here’s our very own Jordan and Emily in their heartbeat CP sweaters doing their bit to raise money for the YMCA Sleep Easy campaign. We’re very proud of all our team mates who slept under the stars. #MAKELIFECOUNT #TechFundraisers #ITheroes”Cooper Parry IT Solutions

“Thank you to all companies organisations and individuals for generously supporting us fundraising for YMCA Derbyshire#sleepeasy19 . The Derby team’s target of £45,000 is an amazing amount to raise from our county.Great to meet so many kindred spirits on the evening.” Team Cosy

“Congratulations to Bondholders for braving the cold, wet and windy night to support fellow Bondholder YMCA Derbyshire for their Changing Lives campaign. Amazing amount of money raised!” Marketing Derby

“Congratulations to everyone involved in raising an incredible amount for the Changing Lives campaign” The Pattonair County Ground

To register interest for YMCA Derbyshire’s 2020 Sleep Easy, please email sleepeasy@ymcaderbyshire.org.uk.