Fundraisers sleep rough outside Lincoln Cathedral

A group of pupils from Lincoln Castle Academy took on the challenge of sleeping rough for the night

Almost 50 people took part in Lincoln YMCA’s third Sleep Easy fundraiser, braving the elements and sleeping rough outside Lincoln Cathedral on March 3.

Homeless people and staff at Lincolnshire YMCA were joined by city residents, students and staff from Lincoln Castle Academy, LEAP and Lincoln MP Karl McCartney.

Around £2,000 has been raised and the funds will be used for an international project initiated by Lincolnshire YMCA.

The charity will be taking a team of volunteers to New Delhi, India, this October to support those who sleep rough or are in desperate need of support in slum villages.

Deputy Chief Executive of Lincolnshire YMCA, Mark Hills, explained how the work in India will be in partnership with ASHA a charity local to New Delhi.

“We aim to take 10-15 people from the YMCA and LEAP to help lay concrete pathways, install sewage trenches and paint and decorate a health centre,” he said.

Service user at the YMCA, Jamie Palmer, took part in Sleep Easy for the second time and is hoping to take part in the trip to India.

Palmer said: “I’d like to see how people live over there without a government helping them out, do a bit to help them and pass something I’ve been taught to someone else.”

One student at Lincoln Castle Academy, Ricky Lawson, said that the school had opted to support the homeless as one of their chosen charities this year.

“You do notice the homeless out on the street and being out here tonight makes me think how hard it must be for them,” he said.

Over the past two years Sleep Easy has raised around £18,000 for charities supporting Polish migrants.

For the India trip to take place a total of £8,000 to £10,000 needs to be raised to pay for flights and accommodation for volunteers and you can still make donations online or by contacting Mark Hills on 01522 888207.

Students at Lincoln Castle Academy Kirsty Poucher and Ricky Lawson experienced homelessness, as YMCA is the chosen charity of the school this year

YMCA service users Jamie Palmer and Caroline Smith, who recently became engaged, are hoping to take part in the trip to New Delhi to pass on some of their knowledge and experience

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney participated for the second year and was impressed with the amount of people involved

Staff from LEAP, a registered charity set up in 1994 to improve training and accommodation prospects for young people at risk