YMCA Bournemouth is organising a charity event targeting over a hundred students to spend a night on the streets to experience what it feels like to be a ‘rough sleeper’.
The event, which will take place at St Michael’s C of E Primary School on April 16th, will see the participants undertake a challenge to showcase the harsh conditions endured by ‘rough sleepers’ at night.
YMCA Marketing executive Hannah Martin said the objective is to bring awareness to the plight of the vulnerable, by demonstrating the suffering of homeless people to the young generation.
“At night, students are given two or three boxes each to prepare their own shelters. We are having a competition to see who makes the most interesting shelter”, said Hannah Martin.
Marketing manager Sheena Dayman thinks that ‘rough sleepers’ should not be regarded as people who intentionally decide to sleep on the streets – as many factors do contribute to their plight.
“In fact, someone may end up sleeping rough through no choice of their own. This can be someone who has suffered a family breakdown, someone who might have suffered redundancy or ill health”, said Sheena Dayman.
This is the first time that the event – Sleep Easy – is being organised in Bournemouth.
It was initially started in 2010 and held every year around the UK with nearly £1 million raised in donations.
‘Rough Sleepers’ rises in Bournemouth
Bournemouth ‘rough sleepers’ has nearly tripled in the past two years with 47 people officially identified by the council in November last year, compared to 15 in 2013.