The annual YMCA Bedfordshire SleepEasy Event is coming to Luton for the first time, as it hopes to raise awareness about homelessness.
The youth charity is keen to get residents involved, after Luton sat at number five in the top 10 of the government’s annual local authority rough sleeper count for 2017/18.
From 7pm on March 15, to 7am on March 16, adults, families, and business teams are invited to sleep on The Mall’s car park and organisations including Guides, Scouts, cadets and schools can have exclusive use of the area around Central Square inside The Mall.
Lavinia Douglass, marketing manager at The Mall, said: “We are delighted to be working with YMCA Bedfordshire on such an important project and look forward to hosting all our guests on 15 th March. The funds raised from the SleepEasy event are vital to address the issue of homelessness and we are pleased to be able to provide the perfect venue to make this happen”.
Paul Hunt YMCA Bedfordshire CEO said: “When The Mall offered us their support and venue for SleepEasy 2019 we were over the moon! As a charity we have been supporting homeless people for 30 years but were only able to expand into Luton 3 years ago establishing Midland House, our 78 bed housing project.
“Holding this event in what is the very heart of Luton enables us to raise awareness and help people gain a better understanding of the lives and experiences of those who become homeless. Unfortunately this is still a growing social issue, but we are happy to be in Luton and addressing it as part of the wide network of organisations here.”
There is a £10 fee to take part and participants are asked to raise sponsorship funds, too. Youth group leaders are free.
The fee and sponsorship money raised will go to YMCA Bedfordshire. Adults must be over 18 or over. Children must be over 10.