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Sleeping rough in Barnoldswick raises £1,000

Sleep Easy participants in Barnoldswick Town Square. Photo by Pendle Pictures.

Sleep Easy participants in Barnoldswick Town Square. Photo by Pendle Pictures.

Eight hardy souls braved the cold last weekend by sleeping rough in Barnoldswick to raise awareness of those who suffer this plight for longer than just one night.

Organiser and Barnoldswick Town goalkeeper Lyle Davy was joined by Coun. Paul White, Leader of Pendle Council Joe Cooney, Earby town councillor Jessica Spence and four friends as they bedded down in cardboard boxes in Barnoldswick Town Square.

The event raised £1,000 for the YMCA with more to come and the initiative generated much interest online with the Twitter hashtag #SleepEasyBarlick.

The money raised is the equivalent of the cost of providing a bed for a homeless young person in Pendle for a year.

Coun. White and Mr Davy visited SafeSpace, Nelson, in the days leading up to the event to learn more about what life is like for young people living on the street or sofa surfing and the reasons why people find themselves in that situation.

And while the Sleep Easy eight had the luxury of donning thermals and woollies for the night and refresh with hot coffee, all knew that life isn’t as straight forward for some.

Coun. White said: “It was cold, and the sleep was very interrupted. It made us think hard about people who have to do that day in, day out.

“We knew we had a bed to go back to the day after, but so many people don’t. We had chance to have a good chat about what that meant.”

The Citizens Advice Bureau published figures earlier this year that numbers of young homeless people are on the rise for a variety of reasons such as relationship breakdown at home, unemployment and high property prices and rental.

It said the number of its clients aged between 17 and 24 without a roof over their head had increased by 57% from 2007/08 to 2012/13.

The charity also said there had been a 39% increase in problems for young people threatened with the prospect of homelessness during the recession years and, despite early signs of growth again, there was still a hangover.

Mr Davy added: “What has been really amazing has been the awareness the project has created. The number of people who’ve spoken to me about it has been staggering really.

“We’ve learnt so much about youth homelessness, and hopefully we’re in a good position to help more in the future too.

“People think about homelessness, and think about people sleeping on the streets but youth homelessness is quite often sofa surfing, hopping from place to place.

“The people we’ve met throughout the project come from all sorts of walks of life.”

Donations can still be made on the website at www.sleepeasybarlick.co.uk.

 

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