YMCA Sleep Easy will see fundraisers take to the streets to help homeless
HUDDLED under blankets and cardboard boxes, fundraisers will sleep rough to raise cash.
The annual YMCA Sleep Easy will take place next month and people in the city are being asked to wrap up warm and help the homeless.
Last year, the Mail joined those taking part at St Aidan's Church in east Hull. This year, the city's Wilberforce and Wyke sixth form colleges are providing venues for fundraisers.
The event, which will be held on February 1, was launched at The Hut Youth Club in Preston Road, the base for Child Dynamix, which helps young people affected by poverty.
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Sleep Easy co-ordinator Jerome Whittingham said: "We have seen in Hull that the official figure for the number of rough sleepers in the city has tripled in the past year.
"Families are struggling to pay their household fuel bills, rent and mortgages.
"Many people have lost their jobs and new employment opportunities in the city are scarce.
"These are very difficult times."
He said the YMCA and its partners in Hull are particularly concerned about prospects for young people, especially those who have few qualifications and little or no work experience, as they are a greatest risk of becoming homeless.
For this year's Sleep Easy, the Humber Region YMCA has partnered with Hull Harp, City Life Church and The Hut.
"We now need the support of people in Hull to make this event a success," Jerome said. "This is a great opportunity to make a difference to some disadvantaged young people in the year ahead.
"On the night, rough sleepers have to make their own shelters out of cardboard, receive refreshments from the Sleep Easy soup kitchen and are entertained by local buskers.
"Yes, people are cold and uncomfortable, but they get a real taste of what it's like to have to live on the streets.
"There's also a great community atmosphere at the event, as people help each other to build their shelters and have fun."
Adrian Fisher, senior leader at City Life Church, said: "We've been working with rough sleepers for the past five years.
"The support our homeless friends need, however, is more than just food and sleeping bags."
Visit www.sleepeasy.gc ymca.com to register.