Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 14.32.55On Sat 23rd April students from Newcastle University will take to the streets and sleep out in the cold to increase awareness of youth homelessness and raise much needed funds for YMCA Newcastle.

The ‘Sleep Easy’ event will see 29 students giving up their bed for the night and sleeping in makeshift cardboard boxes outside of the Student Union. Taking place from 7.00pm to 7.00am, students will be sponsored to experience, for one night, what it feels like to sleep on the street highlighting the reality that many young people in our region face every night.

Last year 312 young people made an application to the City’s homelessness service for help, 146 young people lived in the hostels and hundreds more are sofa surfing without a stable place to live.

YMCA Newcastle provided services to 2,807 young people in 2015, with around 30 requiring intensive support to prevent homelessness. The charity has a full time member of staff who offers support to young people experiencing accommodation difficulties, providing information, advice, guidance, help filling in forms, meeting housing providers and advocating on their behalf.

Jeff Hurst, YMCA Newcastle Chief Executive, said, “Youth homelessness is a growing issue in Newcastle and ‘Sleep Easy’ is a great way for members of our community to raise money for young homeless people, while experiencing a fraction of what many of the young people we work with have been through.

“Anyone can get involved and show their support by making a donation – simply text EASY22£2 to 70070 or visit www.newcastleymca.com. 100% of funds raised will go directly towards supporting young people in Newcastle and will be used to help address the issue of youth homelessness in the city.

“It can be an eye opening experience for the students who take part, they will sleep rough for one night, so many young people can sleep safe for another.”

This is the 4th year Newcastle University students have slept out raising a total of £3,500 to date. Participants raise money through sponsorship and all funds raised via this event will used by YMCA Newcastle to help prevent young people from becoming homeless.

Participants will be provided with hot soup, and a sleeping bag to ensure everyone is kept safe, warm and in good spirit.

YMCA Newcastle is a part of federation of 113 independent YMCAs, forming the oldest and largest youth charity in the world. Last year, YMCA Newcastle provided services to 2807 young people.

If you are interested in making a donation text EASY22£2 to 70070 or visit www.newcastleymca.com.

If you are interested in volunteering for YMCA Newcastle please contact 0191 2765327.