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Lester Aldridge would like to thank everyone who has supported The Big Sleep Easy 2020 event and helped raise £3,324 (including Gift Aid) so far for YMCA Bournemouth, supporting them in their goal to combat youth homelessness and enable positive change for young people’s lives.

On Saturday 17th October, several LA lawyers and employees built cardboard shelters in their back gardens and spent the night in the cold to help support this cause.

How the money raised will help:

  • £5 covers the cost of ingredients for a healthy and nutritious breakfast and three course evening meal for one YMCA resident each day
  • £15 will provide one invaluable hour of experienced and skilled one-to-one keywork support for residents, delivered by trained, passionate and caring YMCA Care/Support Workers
  • £15 per resident enables YMCA to plan for a retreat visit night-over, giving them a new environment to experience and thrive
  • £10 will cover a resident for a group activity, focused upon relapse prevention and essential life-skill workshops
  • £5-£15 will contribute towards required materials for the arts & crafts group for residents
  • £10 will help provide an emergency food and/or toiletries parcel to residents in their positive move-on journey

Martin Stockley, Senior Operations Manager at YMCA Bournemouth, said:

“The financial support which comes via fundraising is invaluable to support each individual we care for; it allows YMCA to deliver a variety of support sessions that are tailor made to the individual. Some have complex needs/history, but this is a challenge we gladly accept and meet face on.

Our residents remain in supported accommodation sometimes for weeks, sometimes for months and sometimes for up to three years.

No matter the length of their stay with us, our focus and passion is to ensure that upon moving on each individual has the skills, confidence and self-belief that will enable them to positively contribute to society and that they can start to rebuild their lives and fulfil their potential. We want everyone to be safe, to be positive… and to thrive.

Your support goes towards this mission, and we can never thank people enough for the positive impact you enable us to deliver locally.”

Big Sleep participant and Partner at LA, Mark Benham, said: “I tried to kid myself that spending a night in a cardboard shelter would be similar to camping under canvas, but it really wasn’t. I felt claustrophobic, vulnerable and uncomfortable. It was a real insight into what thousands of disadvantaged people experience on a daily basis. We should be doing more to support fantastic housing charities including YMCA Bournemouth during these challenging times.”

Another LA employee who took part was Michelle Ripsold, Head of HR. She said: “Spending the night out in the cold was uncomfortable, but at least I felt safe being at home. I can’t imagine how it must feel for someone to be outside and exposed. This thought has resonated with me since The Big Sleep Easy.”

If you would like to support the event, please visit our fundraising page.