Local people helped to raise over £3,500 for YMCA Dulverton Group at a local fundraising event last Friday night that saw them sleep out for the night.
The event was all part of a national campaign YMCA Sleep Easy that saw YMCAs across the country come together over the past month to promote the work they do with young people.
More than 30 people took part at the event on 29th March, helping to raise money but also awareness of the work of the local youth charity.
Participants included Bridgwater Mayor Diogo Rodrigues who has said: “It was a cold night, a very thought provoking experience, and I wouldn’t wish for anyone to be put in that situation.”
“It’s a terrible thing that in 21st Century Britain there are so many rough sleepers on our streets. One of the richest countries in the world has seen the numbers of people rough sleeping grow tremendously over the last few years.”
The participants, made up of staff, residents, previous residents, volunteers, staff from Sedgemoor District Council and Diogo, slept outside on DIY beds made from cardboard, after hearing stories from people who have been helped by YMCA Dulverton Group.
The money raised was more than the target of £2,000; beating last year’s amount by over £1,500 and will be used to support YMCA Dulverton Group’s services for children and young people.
Jonica Walkinshaw Director of Training and Education for YMCA Dulverton Group, said: “We’re delighted about the success of the event and I’d like to thank everyone who took part and spent the night out with us.”
“This event really made all of us put things into perspective. It has reaffirmed the importance of the work we do within our communities, with the support and alongside all of our partners, such as Sedgemoor District Council and other external agencies, to support those who are homeless and do our best to get them into accommodation and provide them with opportunities.”
“Thanks to the kindness of our supporters we can continue to support even more people than before and enable them to realise their potential.”
Emma Dalling, one of the event’s organisers said: “Sleeping rough for a night was a life changing experience for me. You can never truly understand how difficult it is being young and homeless, unless you experience even a fraction of what it’s like sleeping out.”
“It’s definitely taught me to appreciate the life I have more, because not everyone gets a chance to have a bed at night and that’s not right.”
Pictured: The local YMCA Sleep Easy event (Photos: Brian Bateman)