In March 2018, we hosted the first-ever, YMCA Teesdale Sleep Easy, supported by St Mary’s Chruch who provided the venue, Babuls (then Spice Island) for the curries and Oliver Twists for the Breakfasts. We were joined by 10 fantastic volunteers who slept in all weather conditions; rain, wind, snow and ice!

Alicia from Hewitts wrote:
On the 16th March 2018 myself and 10 other participants took part in a Sleep Easy. When I first heard about the event I thought how hard can it be? You go to sleep outside and raise money for the homeless. How mistaken I was. The temperature dropped below freezing bringing snow and sleet, with nothing but a sleeping bag and a cardboard box. Waking up covered in ice is not a nice experience. People have said to me what an awful night to do this on, my reply, what a good night to do it on, to get the full experience of what some people have to deal with 365 days a year.
By far the hardest part was hearing people leaving the local pubs not knowing what reception you were going to get when they came across you. We could hear them coming for what seemed like an age and then they were gone, and the relief when they passed us by without any disturbance was a real eye-opener.
Many people believe sleeping rough is simply sleeping on the street, begging for money and food, but don’t consider the effects of not knowing if you’re going to be safe.”
Alicia joined us again for a second year. In 2019, Alicia supported the marshalling of the event but bought with her a fantastic team of sleepers from Hewitts in Darlington. Year two only got bigger and better with nearly 15 people joining us to attempt to sleep at St Mary’s Church to raise awareness and funds of youth homelessness. We had Babuls support with curry and Morrison’s provided breakfast. We also had sponsorship from Orca Cleaning Company, helping us make the event even better!

These vital funds help us to deliver vital youth work to the local community ensuring that young people are equipped to deal with life independently, preventing homelessness. If they do face it, we support them through this. Make a difference to young people’s lives today, sign up to Sleep Easy 2020 and sleep rough so others don’t have to.