They need hope


Essex residents helped to raise over £3,400 for YMCA Essex at a fundraising event that saw them sleep outside for the night.

‘Sleep Easy’ took place on Friday 8 March and participants built their own cardboard shelter and slept out on Chelmsford Cathedral grounds throughout the night.
Andy Drake, YMCA Essex’s Chief Executive, said: “Homelessness is a complicated issue and needs prevention as well as direct intervention.

“The funds raised will enable both of prevention and intervention through supporting our housing project in Colchester as well as Family Support Work, Childcare and Youthwork across the county. We can now help even more young people than before and support them to realise their potential.”


Lady Rosemary Ruggles-Brise, Honorary President of YMCA Essex and a participant at Sleep Easy, said: “Sleeping rough was certainly a thought-provoking experience, not least for someone of my advancing years who has never been without a home.

“Though it is impossible to imagine the real despondency experienced by the homeless after only one night sleeping in a box, it certainly gave me a taste of their feeling of loss and hopelessness.

“My aim in setting myself this challenge was to highlight the plight of these young people and the marvellous work carried out by YMCA Essex who offer them support towards a positive future.

“I sincerely thank all who have donated money to the event. This will be put towards expanding throughout the county, the programmes of YMCA Essex designed to help children, families and the young. Homeless doesnt always mean on the streets.

“We need to highlight the fact that their are many families that are staying with other people and dont have a home.”

YMCA Essex seeks to serve the children, young people and families of Essex to help them unleash their personal potential and be a part of building a better Essex for all.

If you are interested in making a donation or volunteering for YMCA Essex please visit


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