Because some people in Dartford don’t have a choice, YMCA Thames Gateway is calling on local people to come together and take part in their 10th anniversary Sleep Easy fundraiser to support local, homeless young people.

The Dartford based charity is hosting this event in partnership with Dartford Churches Winter Shelter on Friday 8 March. The event will be held in Dartford’s Central Park from 7pm until the early hours of the following morning.

It is hoped that this year’s sleep out will raise even more funds as the numbers of rough sleepers of all ages continues to rise and pressures mount on the housing market. YMCA Thames Gateway is one of 133 local YMCAs in England and Wales that, together, support more than 200,000 young people every year.  

Brian Cooke, Director of Housing for YMCA Thames Gateway said: “With homelessness now at an all-time high and spreading well beyond traditional city heartlands, we are calling on the local community, old and young, to sign up for the event to help us provide more young people with a safe and welcoming place to realise their potential”.

Cllr. Jeremy Kite and former Mayor of Dartford, Cllr. Rosanna Currans

This will be the third sleep out for the leader of Dartford Borough Council, Councillor Jeremy Kite.  He said: “There are many reasons why people find themselves in housing crisis and whilst I don’t pretend to know what all the answers might be, I do know that the problem has been with us for too long and that great local communities have a part to play”. 

“This will be the third time I’ve taken part in the YMCA event and if it helps raise the profile of both the issue and the great people working to tackle it then I’m very pleased to do it again.  Like many people, I am fortunate to be able to make a choice to sleep rough for a single night but there isn’t a moment during the event when you don’t reflect on those for whom there is no option.”

YMCA’s across the country are holding Sleep Easy events to raise much needed awareness of the plight of rough sleeping among young people.  All funds raised will be split equally between the YMCA and Dartford Churches Winter Shelter.

To find out more or register for Sleep Easy visit their website at www.ymcatg.org/get-involved/sleepeasy2019 or email sleepeasy@ymcatg.org