Scores of courageous Bondholders swapped their warm beds for sleeping bags and tarpaulin on Friday 8 March at The Pattonair County Ground.
The annual ‘Sleep Easy’ event hosted by Bondholder YMCA Derbyshire is now in its ninth year, and this year saw the largest number of Bondholders participate.
Individuals and representatives from local businesses braved wet and windy weather to raise awareness of the hundreds of people who sleep rough every year, and to raise vital funds to enable YMCA Derbyshire to continue providing safe and supported accommodation for young people in our community. So far, an unprecedented £52,665 has been raised by those involved and supporters of the charity!
Bondholders participating this year were Ace Couriers, Code Print, Cosy Direct, Derby Grammar School, University of Derby, Derbyshire County Council, East Midlands Trains, Elliot Mather LLP, Maber, On Event Productions, PKF Cooper Parry, Pattonair, Threeguru, as well as well-respected local figures The High Sheriff of Derbyshire Lucy Palmer, Liz Fothergill CBE and Tony Walker CBE.
Following Sleep Easy, a couple of Bondholders shared their reflections with us:
Richard Pettinger, Code Print: “It’s one night. Just one. Sleeping rough in a car park. In a cardboard box. And I’m not going to lie; I’ve had warmer, dryer, more comfortable Friday nights… BUT – This is what I swapped for a comfy night at home:
Great camaraderie, support and encouragement
The chance to raise almost £1500 over 2 years to help rough sleepers who have no choice
The opportunity to meet some truly inspiring people (and a couple of possible business contacts too!)
The feeling that I am helping REAL people, with REAL needs.
A pretty good deal, don’t you think?
So, my advice to all Bondholders? Don your thermals and meet me in the car park next year…”
Peter Ellse, CEO Cosy Direct, said: "Being on the edge of the city we see how much need there is to help the homeless on our very doorstep. Homelessness has a lot of help in Derby yet we know the problems and roots of the issue are far from simple. The YMCA team were exceptionally professional and the associated cob vans and coffee suppliers kept our spirits up wonderfully. It made a great team event and I’d recommend it to any Derby business.”
YMCA Derbyshire has hosted Sleep Easy nights since 2010 and has now raised a total of £320,000 in that time. Money brought in has helped YMCA Derbyshire, which works with 300 people at risk of homelessness each year, provide person-centred support to assist individuals in moving forward with their lives.
As a direct result of the £40,000 raised for Sleep Easy 2018, YMCA Derbyshire were able to acquire and refurbish 12 new units of accommodation in Derby city centre, providing safe and supportive housing for 36 individuals each year. A dedicated support worker is also on hand to provide the vital support needed to ensure residents move on to independent living.
While there is recognition from the public that homelessness is going up, new research from YMCA has found that just one in four young people who are homeless (26%) believe the public care about youth homelessness. When thinking about themselves and their personal situation, even fewer young people who are homeless believe the public are concerned. Less than one in five homeless young people (19%) believe the public care about their situation.
Gillian Sewell CEO YMCA Derbyshire, said: “We would like to say a sincere thank you to our fellow Marketing Derby Bondholders for once again supporting our event. Not only does it enable us to raise vital funds for our organisation it also gives us the belief and motivation to know that we are in good company in our quest to prevent homelessness and support those most in need in our community. We really couldn’t do what we do without the support we receive from our city’s business community. So on behalf of all the young people who will have a safe and supported place to live as a result of this event, we thank you”.
Bondholders interested in taking part in YMCA Derbyshire’s tenth Sleep Easy in March 2020 can email email@example.com to register interest.