Sleep Rough So Others Don’t Have To

A staple part of YMCA’s fundraising across the UK since 2010, Sleep Easy has seen more than 7,000 people sleep rough to raise more than £1.5m for local YMCA services that help people rebuild their lives.

Sleep Easys offer a fantastic challenge to individuals and organisations who wish to help raise funds to combat, and awareness of, homelessness. Participants set themselves a fundraising target before wrapping up warm, building a cardboard shelter and then ‘sleeping rough so others don’t have to’.

One night can make a lifetime of difference.

The Big Sleep Easy - Saturday 16 November

Our ‘Big Sleep Easy’ campaign launched in autumn 2018 when almost 100 individuals, fundraising on their own behalf or as part of teams representing local organisations, built cardboard shelters and slept outside for a night at Chapel Gate Sports Club near Bournemouth Airport. They raised almost £25,000!

This year, the Big Sleep Easy was even bigger, with a 160+ individuals and 30+ local businesses, such as Lester Aldridge, TEAM Jobs and Store and Secure, sleeping outside on Saturday 16 November. Participants raised over £30,000!

In addition to providing a fantastic fundraising challenge for individuals, for local businesses it’s the perfect opportunity for team-building, informal networking and the chance to demonstrate a commitment to the local community. Find further details of our corporate partnerships here.

You can download our full Big Sleep Easy information pack here. To reserve your place at next year’s event, please contact

Further information about corporate partnerships can be found here.

Sleep Easys for Schools and Colleges

With our support, schools, colleges and other organisations have also held Sleep Easy events on our behalf. This year, for example, we have eight local school sixth forms holding Sleep Easys, with Parkstone Grammar School currently topping the fundraising leaderboard at £3500!

You can find out more about our school/college partnerships here or please contact Sheena Dayman on to find out more.

Could you bring a smile to a former rough sleeper's face this Christmas?

Our ‘Prezzies for Rezzies’ campaign invites local people to donate a new or nearly new Christmas present to people who otherwise might receive none at all.

YMCA Bournemouth suggests the following: socks, sweets, stationery, art materials, calendars, diaries, colouring pencils, paints, colouring books for adults, toiletries, gift sets, hair accessories, food (no alcohol), DVDs, games and puzzles. They ask that these items remain unwrapped as the charity selects gifts appropriate for each resident.

There are three collection points for donations:
• YMCA Bournemouth, Delta House, Westover Road, Bournemouth BH1 2BS;
• The Junction Sports and Leisure Centre, Station Approach, Broadstone BH18 8AX (The Junction Sport and Leisure Centre Broadstone)
• Pokesdown and Southbourne Children’s Centre, 108 Stourvale Road, Southbourne BH6 5JB (Pokesdown and Southbourne Children’s Centre)

For further information please contact Sarah Watson on 01202 290451 or email

The Big Sleep Easy 2018

Chapel Gate Sports Club, Saturday 17 November 2018.

“Each person taking part was dedicated to making a long-term difference to the lives of others,” said YMCA Bournemouth Senior Operations Manager Martin Stockley. “The experience will certainly have changed people’s perceptions of the harshness of sleeping rough.”

This video was made by Alvaro Gonzalo.

Real Stories


Danny’s Story

Danny has battled hard to get himself free of addiction but last year he also battled for others by organising a coffee morning in aid of cancer care.


Medhi’s Story

Mehdi is now a very successful businessman in Bournemouth but it has been a very difficult journey. A stay at YMCA Bournemouth changed his life.


Mhairi’s Story

When Mhairi’s relationship broke down she had nowhere to live and ended up street homeless until we found a place for her in our hostel