"Sleeping rough so others don't have to..."
A village made of cardboard shelters emerged outside Holy Trinity Church in Wimbledon, when participants in this year's Sleep Easy set up their homes for the night earlier this month.
It was the sixth year that YMCA London South West, in partnership with the Everyday Church and Faith in Action, invited people to 'sleep rough so others don't have to'.
According to a quarterly survey conducted by The Greater London Authority (GLA), 2,565 people were recorded as sleeping rough in London on any one single night between October and December 2014. This was an increase of 13% on the same period last year.
During the last five years, Sleep Easy, which also took place in Kingston, has raised almost £70,000 and in total 600 people have attended the events. There were about 100 participants at this year's event.
Shas Sheehan (pictured right), Wimbledon's Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner, was one of those taking part and was delighted to raise nearly £600 through her sponsorship page.
The Wimbledon participants also included a group of Scouts from the 23rd Camberwell group, who took part alongside young people from The Challenge, who have previously been organising a sleep out at YMCA Wimbledon.
After the event, Shas Sheehan said: "There are all sorts of reasons why someone becomes homeless, and our local charities work tirelessly to help them through difficult times.
"They also invest a great deal of thought and energy to helping them get their lives back on track. As a volunteer with the Wimbledon Faith in Action Homeless Project, I know the highly motivated team in Wimbledon well - and admire their commitment, energy and drive.
"It may not be the most fun way to spend a Friday night on the town, but I certainly got a small taste of what it's like to be down and out. It was apparently only down to 6 degrees on Friday night, but that was more than cold enough".
The money raised will go to the Merton Winter Night Shelter for homeless people and towards YMCA LSW’s work with homeless people in the Boroughs of Merton and Kingston.
Read more about Sleep Easy here.
March 16, 2015