YMCA Doncaster needs help from the public with sleeping rough

Hayley Turpin and Tracey Nowell in Hayley's shelter. Tracey brought a smaller shelter that she felt wasn't up to scratch, so Hayley suggested she share hers. They had only met about an hour before that!
Hayley Turpin and Tracey Nowell in Hayley's shelter. Tracey brought a smaller shelter that she felt wasn't up to scratch, so Hayley suggested she share hers. They had only met about an hour before that!

The YMCA in Doncaster is urging the public to rough it for one night and sleep under the stars to help the homeless in the area.

Young Men’s Christian Association in Doncaster is urging the community to take part in their annual Sleep Easy fundraising event as places begin to fill up.

The event, which will take place on the night of Friday March 9, invites participants to brave the cold for one night and sleep in a makeshift cardboard home.

Each year the event is held and participants make their own shelter

YMCA Doncaster already serves 30 young people who would otherwise be homeless and is looking to raise awareness among local people of what it is like to be on the streets for one night.

Olivia Burton, a manager at YMCA Doncaster, said “Approximately £25,000 has been raised over the last eight years through Sleep Easy in the town and those funds have allowed YMCA Doncaster to continue combating the problem of youth homelessness in the area.”

She added: “However, it is a problem that is very unlikely to disappear in the near future, which is why this event is as important as ever.

“Sleep easy is a great opportunity to learn and experience more about what it is like to be homeless. The more people we get involved in the sleep out, the more people we will be able to help.”

Homelessness is a complex issue that affects tens of thousands of people across the country - a fifth of whom are aged between 24 and under.

The number of people in Doncaster who have been affected by the issue has risen dramatically since 2010, and many of those people include young rough sleepers who are in the vulnerable age group of 16 to 24 year olds.

Fortunately for some at YMCA Doncaster’s premises on Wood Street they have 30 rooms which are used as temporary accommodation for homeless people aged between 16 and 25.

They also support young people to access college courses to gain employability skills and in the case of some help them to learn basic life lessons around things such as personal hygiene and YMCA also raises awareness of youth homelessness and that it can happen to anyone.

To find out more about taking part in Sleep Easy, visit ymcadoncaster.org.uk/sleep-easy/ site.