By Pulo Makaula

As we all have seen when we walk through the streets surrounding Brighton, there is a problem with the number of homeless people in they city. To raise awareness on this issue YMCA DownsLink Group is hosting a sleep easy sleepout with help from students from the University of Sussex Help the Homeless Society on March 22nd.  The sleepout itself will be taking place on the grounds of Brighton & Hove Sixth Form College (BHASVIC) with the participants using only cardboards and sleeping bags to keep themselves warm throughout the night.

Throughout the course of last year YMCA DLG was able to raise enough money to provide housing for more than 900 young people across West Surrey and East & West Sussex. The housing helped these young people incredibly as they would have stayed homeless without it.

President of the homeless society and Ecology student at Sussex University Kate Dennet said “Participating in Sleep Easy last year definitely made all of us realise how truly uncomfortable rough sleeping can be. Whilst it was a really fun evening for us to be involved in, I had never been more grateful that I was able to go home to a warm dry house and bed. Unfortunately some people are not so lucky. The YMCA does amazing work and Sleep Easy is a very successful way to raise vital funds and awareness”.

Sussex Uni students at 2018 Sleep Easy
Sussex Uni students at 2018 Sleep Easy

With the success of the sleep easy even last year it is no wonder that there is an increase in the people who will be taking part this year. The number of homeless people in the city seems to be increasing and with these type of initiatives it will make much needed improvements to the current situation.

Chief Executive of YMCA DownsLink Group Chas Walker announced that there are plans to hold further sleepouts in Crawley and Eastbourne. To effectively tackle the problem of homelessness it is important to reach out to areas which may not be major cities, even though the problem may not be as visible as major cities there are still people who may need help.

Walker further stated that “We are delighted to have students from Sussex University joining us for a night under the stars, helping us raise money and awareness for homeless and vulnerable young people …  we raised a record amount and that’s making an enormous difference to the young people we work with”.

If you want to make a difference in peoples lives and are willing to give up one night of comfort then join the sleep easy sleepout that will be taking place in Brighton on Friday 22nd of March. To find out more visit www.ymcadlg.org/sleep-easy or email sleep.easy@ymcadlg.org.

Donations can be made at bit.ly/SleepEasy19

Visit www.ymcadlg.org/sleep-easy to watch the short film about last years Sleep Easy in Brighton & Hove.