So on Friday the 23rd March I took part in the YMCA Sleep Easy challenge. The tag line is “sleeping rough so others don’t have too”. For me taking part in this was something out of my comfort zone. I hate being cold, not having enough sleep and generally being uncomfortable.
It’s took me a week to write this post as I wanted to ensure I wrote what I felt. In the time I spent doing this challenge I reflected a lot on things that I take for granted and also had a change of perspective.
I got there for 7pm and I met everyone, got signed in and was given two boxes to make my little ‘house’ for the night. Other people started arriving and everyone was having a chat. I didn’t actually know anyone so was just talking to a few people. There was a competition for the best decorated box, so we had a bit of a laugh painting the boxes and sticking random stuff on.
We had a bit of food, listened to some stories of how YMCA Sleep Easy will help benefit those in need and also had a couple of buskers play for us.
Around 11, everyone was settling down going to their ‘beds’. By this the time the temperature had considerably dropped and even though I had 4 lots of layers top and bottom I was still freezing.
Throughout various points of the night I wanted to cry. I was cold, uncomfortable and in pain. At around 3am I was ready to throw in the towel, my head was killing as I still hadn’t slept and I just wanted to go home. This was when it really hit me, those who live like this every single night have no choice at all.
The impact it must take on these people physically and mentally is ridiculous. Something needs to be done as this can no longer and should no longer be happening. Every person has the right to somewhere safe to live, to be healthy and to be equal. I hope that this year is the year where change begins to happen and every person who is in that situation will not have to sleep rough again.
This experience changed my perspective on so many things, including how lucky I am, what I can do to help others and how just to be a better version of me.
Here you can see a little snapshot video of my night put together by HeadStart for me.
Bye for now