Thanks for taking the time to visit our Diocesan Lent Appeal fundraising page for YMCA DLG. YMCA Downslink is aiming to raise £40K which will help them tackle youth Homelessness and provide vital services.
Any donation you can make will be a great help. Read what Chas Walker, CEO, YMCA DownsLink Group writes:
"Homelessness among young people is increasing. In addition to those we see on the streets are the hidden homeless who are sofa surfing not knowing each morning where they will be the next night.
"We are grateful to the 50 men and women who slept “rough” for just
one night in our car park in Hove to raise awareness of youth homelessness. As well as raising awareness they have also raised money to support the vulnerable young people that are housed and helped in other ways by YMCA DownsLink Group. We are grateful to everyone who took part. Particular thanks are due to the bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner and the Archdeacon of Brighton and
Lewes, Martin Lloyd-Williams as well as our oldest participant 84-year-old Bob Wright who has a real heart for the homeless."
Bishop Martin offered a prayer and blessing at the event. He said: “It was great to be part of the Sleep Easy event on Friday. It taught me how little we understand about the vulnerability, discomfort, and the indignity of homelessness and sleeping rough, and how terrifyingly easy it is to end up with no other option.
“On the positive side, it was an opportunity to see the amazing commitment of the YMCA team, and the enthusiasm of supporters for raising awareness and raising funds to tackle homelessness among young people. And for our one night out under the stars, we had the best tarmac hospitality.”
Archdeacon Martin said:"The night was dry and cold, the atmosphere was excitable and nervy, the organisation was exemplary and all fifty of us were gathered for a great cause. I did feel rather apprehensive beforehand but I shouldn't have worried. This tiny taste of outdoors improvised sleeping on cardboard and a wooden pallet was scarcely exposure to the trauma of the real thing, but hopefully, the profile of homelessness was raised a bit, and a good sum of money was given to a very worthwhile cause."
YMCA DownsLink Group works across Sussex and West Surrey providing safe accommodation and opportunities for young people who have been made or are at risk of becoming, homeless. Last year the group housed around 550 young people who would otherwise have been homeless.
Money raised from Sleep Easy will help us support young people like Ameer. When he arrived in this country he had no support until he came across our housing advice service. This led on to him moving into YMCA accommodation. Read his story here. The money we raise through Sleep Easy will help many more young people to move into safe accommodation.
But we provide so much more that just a place to sleep. We offer support and opportunities so that the young people can achieve their full potential. Our aim is that they all belong, contribute and thrive.