27 April 2021

Local businesses and individuals in Derby have helped to raise an incredible £27,011 for YMCA Derbyshire by taking part in a mammoth virtual Sleep Easy event on Friday March 26 2021.

Vital funds from the event will go towards health and wellbeing support for the young people the charity serves. More than 50 local people took part, with the youngest only seven years old and oldest nearly 70.

The event itself looked a little different to previous years, as COVID-19 has not just had an impact on homelessness services but also on fundraising.

Traditionally an event that brings lots of the community together at Derbyshire County Cricket Ground, this year’s Sleep Easy challenged fundraiser’s creativity as streets and outdoor venues were replaced by kitchen floors, sofas and garden tents.

11 businesses in the Derby circuit were involved in the event, including Aston Lark, BamBoom Cloud, CalminaBox, Colleague Box, Cooper Parry, Derby City Council, Derby Grammar School, LearnByDesign, Nielsen McAllister, McAndrew Utilities and Saylavy.

Gillian Sewell, Chief Executive of YMCA Derbyshire 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 difficult and heart-breaking 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 your support we can now help even more vulnerable young people and support them to realise their full potential. You have proven that one night really can make a lifetime of difference.”

Seven year old Olly Hodgkinson said:

“Weeks ago, I saw a man sleeping on the street and it made me sad. When my nanny told me about the Sleep Easy, I wanted to do it and raise money for people.”

Sarah Markham from CalminaBox said:

“I was so glad to have completed the Sleep Easy for such a great cause. It was really interesting to observe how the whole experience brought about such a wide range of emotions. Being able to connect with the other participants online was even more important than I thought it would be. It showed me the real need for human connection that some homeless people might not have.”

If you’d like to get involved in YMCA’s Sleep Easy, the event can be participated in at any time of the year. Simply email fundraising@ymcaderbyshire.org.uk if you’d like to hold your very own Sleep Easy evening.