Home > Charity News > The Life Changing Power of a Sleep Easy Cardboard Box

The Life Changing Power of a Sleep Easy Cardboard Box

Posted on: 20/05/2022

At YMCA Bournemouth, we are obsessed with cardboard boxes. Our Sleep Easy boxes have special life changing powers. Each one goes on a special journey, becoming a home for a night and transforming lives locally for years afterwards. They bring people together and they create joy.

Our boxes start their journey in a recycling bin. They are left over packing boxes from Castlepoint. We stockpile them; our volunteers regularly collect and take them to Ace Office Environment, who store thousands of them for free. Our amazing volunteers take them to each Sleep Easy event in a van hired for free from Economy Hire Ringwood.

At our 15 school Sleep Easy’s, students are each given three boxes and Duct Tape donated by Travis Perkins, constructing shelters ranging from weird to wonderful, then spend the night ‘sleeping rough’. Together they raise thousands of pounds for YMCA Bournemouth. Each event is sponsored by a local DCCI business and students tuck into free donated Domino’s pizza. In the morning, Suez Recycling & Recovery collect and recycle the used boxes.

Then at our Big Sleep Easy event in October each year, businesses come together to sleep rough for the night. Boxes are donated by Store and Secure for this event. Morale and teamwork abound, as solicitors, accountants, architects and myriad occupations, like so many school children before them, make cardboard shelters, don their woolly hats and three pairs of socks, enjoy soup donated by Forerunner and bed down to sleep ‘rough’ for the night. In the morning, participants are fortified by bacon and sausage butties donated by Tesco, cooked by the Salvation Army in their community van.

Thanks to the thousands of special cardboard boxes, amazing sponsors, companies donating their services and, of course, hundreds of participants, YMCAB can support thousands of vulnerable people locally.

We help young people to break free of their own invisible boxes.

Despite being best known for our work supporting homeless people, since our first activities in Bournemouth were recorded in 1879, no other organisation locally has such a wide remit working in key areas of community need, particularly in relation to children and young people.

We offer 100 pre-school places specialising in SEN, children’s centres, contact centres, youth clubs, holiday clubs, chaplaincy support, a youth project for disabled children and young adults, free B.A.C.P accredited counselling and supported housing for young adults.

As the cost of living crisis deepens, our help is needed more than ever. Those taking part in our sleep easy events are now not just sleeping rough so others don’t have to, they sleep rough to transform lives locally.


YMCA Bournemouth needs your help to be able to continue our lifechanging work. Could your team sleep rough for a night at our Big Sleep Easy event on 15th October 2022?

 Could you support us in another way? We’d love to hear from you.

To sign up to the Big Sleep Easy or for more info, search for YMCA Bournemouth or call Sheena on 07824 333505.

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