Network Norwich and Norfolk > Regional News > Night under the stars at Norwich Sleep Easy
YMCA Norfolk Sleep Easy Feb16

Challenging night under the stars at Norwich Sleep Easy

More than 70 people slept under the stars in Norwich on Friday night, braving the cold and undertaking team challenges to raise awareness of the increasing issue of youth homelessness and much needed funds for YMCA Norfolk to help tackle the issue.

Taking part in the seventh annual YMCA Norfolk Sleep Easy event were Lord Mayor of Norwich Cllr Brenda Arthur, City Sheriff Beryl Blower and YMCA Norfolk CEO Tim Sweeting. They were joined by groups from Cotman Housing, Insight FA, St Thomas Norwich and Soul Church along with colleagues from Places for People and YMCA Norfolk.

After building their shelters out of cardboard boxes and sleeping bags, participants tackled Get Me Out of Here team challenges including breaking into blocks of ice, opening cling fling parcels wearing gloves and a slime-covered jigsaw to find hidden keys to unlock a treasure chest of treats or creepy surprises.

Participants also heard first-hand stories from young people who YMCA Norfolk are supporting as they talked around fire pits early into the morning about how they have been able to transform their lives with support and a secure home.

One of the youngest participants, teenager Josh Knights, said: “The evening was great fun till we went to bed. It was extremely cold, my bedding was damp and it was a real struggle to last the night.”

The Sleep Easy took place at Soul Nursery on Heartsease Lane on Norwich from 7pm on Friday night (February 12) until 7am on Saturday morning, when temperatures dropped to a chilly minus two degrees.

YMCA Norfolk fundraising and communications manager, Susie Knights, said: “In the middle of the night when you hear a rustling, you think ‘Is that someone trying to take my stuff, is it a rat?’ and you start to get a sense of what it might be like to live on the streets. The next morning, when you wake up, the thought of having to do it for another night is actually terrifying.

“On average it costs around £15 a night to put a roof over a young person’s head, to provide a safe and secure home for someone. Everyone who supports this cause is literally helping to transform a life.”

Organisers hope that over £10,000 will be raised to help tackle youth homelessness in Norfolk. You can donate at

Pictures by Julia Holland.


Do you appreciate our service and stories?

The Network Norwich & Norfolk website has been published for over 13 years now and we have an established team of professional journalists covering the activities, organisations and churches which make up the county’s Christian community. Our whole purpose is to support that community by daily providing accurate, unbiased stories and features.

To pay for that service, we rely on our partner organisations, advertisers and readers to, in turn, support us financially. We want to keep the website free for everyone to access and continue to be able to pay for writers to produce the content you can enjoy every day.

We would like to ask you to consider supporting our work and suggest you might want to make a small regular donation of just £1 a week and become one of our 100 Friends, or a larger one-off or annual amount.

Because we are part of a registered charity we can reclaim Gift Aid on your donations if you are a tax-payer.

 Recommended reading 
Not rated. Write the first review or comment
Site Search

 Norfolk services........ 


Twitter-button  facebookbutton


Sign up for our
free e-newsletter

Send us your latest local news and events