A young man wearing a wooly hat is lying inside a cardboard box smiling.

15 March 2023


On Friday 10th March, despite the freezing temperatures, a group of dedicated individuals gathered in Merry Hill car park in support of the YMCA Black Country Group.

Sleep Easy, our annual fundraising event, seeks to raise awareness and funds to support young people who are at risk of homelessness. The event involved participants sleeping outside in makeshift shelters made from cardboard boxes, braving the harsh sub-zero temperatures to experience what it’s like to sleep rough. The night also featured various activities and entertainment to keep participants engaged, including bhangra dancing, choir singers and a taekwondo demonstration.

Despite the challenging conditions the event was a resounding success, raising over £16,430.79 so far, to support our young residents when moving on from YMCA into their own accommodation. A successful first step into their own place is a crucial point in their lives and we aim to support them as much as possible to ensure they continue to thrive once leaving us.

Steve Bavington, CEO of YMCA Black Country Group said, “The success of the Sleep Easy event can be attributed to the dedication and commitment of the participants, who were willing to brave the harsh weather conditions to support the cause. The event also received overwhelming support from the local community, with businesses and individuals generously donating funds, supplies and time to make the event a success.”

Sleep Easy was also a great opportunity to raise awareness about the issue of homelessness and the challenges faced by young people who are at risk. Through the event, participants were able to gain a better understanding of the realities of homelessness and the importance of supporting charities like YMCA.

Sally Cowan, Chief Officer of Places for YMCA said, “Overall, the success of the Sleep Easy event is a testament to the power of community and the importance of coming together to support those in need. The funds raised will go a long way in supporting our young residents as they move on into their own accommodation; we have provided essential items including washing machines or furniture to past recipients or paid for additional support services such as counselling or qualifications to ensure they have the best opportunity to thrive when they leave us.”

Our hope is that people take inspiration from these participants who braved the cold to support this vital cause and continue to support our work in any way they can.

Online giving closes on 10th April. Please consider donating if you haven’t already.

If you would like to be a part of Sleep Easy next year, or would like to know more about how you can hold your own event please contact Grace Maddocks for more details

We’d also like to thank our corporate sponsors who made the event possible: