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UK News

YMCA challenges people to sleep on the streets for a night

by Tola Mbakwe

The YMCA has asked people to spend a night on the streets for at least one night this week. 

Starting Friday, people will be sleeping out for one night to raise awareness of the thousands of young people who sleep rough each year, and help raise funds for local YMCAs to deliver support to young people.

Latest Government figures show the estimated number of rough sleepers in England in a single night as 4,266. It's down nine per cent from last year's statistics, but an overall increase of 141 per cent since 2010. 

Denise Hatton, chief executive of YMCA England & Wales, said: "It is unimaginable that any young person should be forced to sleep out, yet every day YMCA continue to be approached by young people who are on the streets and have nowhere else to turn. 

"Speaking to homeless young people as part of our research last year, just one in four believe that the public care about them.  

"We want the 10th annual YMCA Sleep Easy to help show young people that the public do care, now more than ever, and that they want to help tackle youth homelessness by raising awareness and vital funds." 

YMCA Sleep Easy nights have been running since 2010, with more than 7,000 participants across the country helping to raise nearly £2.5m in aid of youth homelessness. 

Money raised during that time has supported local YMCAs by providing housing, training and employment, advice and health and wellbeing services to almost 630,000 young people each year. 

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