On Friday 17 March, 40 young people gathered together at Holy Trinity Church to sleep out overnight, to raise funds in support of the Merton Winter Night Shelter.
The teenagers represent the Merton & Sutton Youth Board, set up by NCS The Challenge, which encourages young people to volunteer and raise money for charities in their local area.
The teenagers are keen to highlight the issues around homelessness, and YMCA Wimbledon Centre Manager Rebecca Stockman has been struck by how much they care. “I’m excited that these young people are seeking to encourage a greater understanding of homelessness with their peers – it is fantastic to witness their enthusiasm. It really has been a great event.”
The teenagers spent the night taking part in different activities, competitions and challenges, as well as having talks from guest speaker Nicki Zisman, who is the YMCA Co-ordinator for the Night Shelter and two residents of YMCA Wimbledon who came to share their stories. They were also treated to some poetry from YMCA Wimbledon residents’ Creative Collective.
Over £500 was raised for the Night Shelter on the night. You can help by donating via their online Virgin Giving page, which is linked to the Winter Night Shelter fundraising page.