Sleeping rough so others don't have to...

The YMCA’s Sleep Easy event took place on Saturday night, with 167 people bravely "sleeping rough, so others don't have to".

Given only a cardboard box and as much hot soup as they could drink, the fundraisers spent a night under the stars in the Memorial Gardens in Kingston as part of a national YMCA Event. Sleepers were kept busy with a shelter building competition, drumming workshop (run by Music Room, a YMCA LSW youth project), quizzes and a graffiti art workshop by local artist Matthew James.

Those braving the weather included 22 of the 1st Old Malden Scouts, who so far have raised over £1300, the biggest team fundraising effort in the country at present. Richard Gooud, who leads the Explorer scouts said:

"Sleep Easy fits in with everything the Scouts do, it's all about community spirit. We heard about the event through KCAH while looking to do something for the scout's community badge. It's a fantastic cause and we'll be back next year with double the numbers!"

People took part for many different reasons as Ruth (another participant) explained:

"I was caught in the snow before Christmas. The streets where chaotic and I couldn't get home. Fortunately I was able to stay with a friend, but it made me think about what I would've done if I couldn't get anywhere. The next day I saw an advert for the event at YMCA Surbiton gym".

The event in Kingston was organised by YMCA London South West in partnership with Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness (KCAH). The money raised will be split between the two. This was the second year YMCA Sleep Easy took place in Kingston. This year's event saw more people take part and seems on course to beat last year's fundraising total of £21,000.

A big ‘Thank You’ to everyone who took part or helped out on the night. There's still time to show your support by making a donation and photos have been posted on our Facebook page. Search for YMCA London South West.


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