A night spent sleeping rough under heavy rainfall with only cardboard boxes for shelter has helped raise more than £12,000 for vital causes.

Funds and awareness was raised as a 'Sleep Out' event in Lowestoft was hailed a success after smashing its £5,000 target.

Organised by the charity YMCA Trinity Group for The Shine Project - a youth project that inspires communities and transforms young people's lives in Lowestoft - more than 30 dedicated supporters took up the Sleep Out challenge in October.

Sleeping under the stars to raise funds for The Shine Project and its work supporting young people living in Lowestoft, the event was organised by YMCA Trinity Group - which also works to inspire communities and transform young lives.

Lowestoft Journal: The Shine teamThe Shine team (Image: YMCA Trinity Group)

Hosted by the Lowestoft and Yarmouth rugby club, not only did the event raise much-needed money, but it also helped raise awareness of youth homelessness and the challenges young people are facing.

Teams from Tarrant’s Property Services and Waveney Property Services were among the volunteers to sleep out.

Lowestoft Journal: Kay WestgateKay Westgate (Image: YMCA Trinity Group)

Kay Westgate, Youth Engagement Manager for YMCA Trinity Group, said: "The feeling of camaraderie and motivation was evident amongst everyone taking part in the Sleep Out event.

"Whilst we recognise this does not truly reflect the harsh realities of someone facing homelessness or sleeping rough, the event raised awareness of an important issue affecting our communities.

"We had a home with a bed and a roof over our heads to return to, and the sad reality is that homeless individuals do not.

“We’re humbled by the number of supporters who came together and raised an incredible amount of money for a great cause."

The Shine Project gives young people a voice.

It provides them with somebody to talk to as well as opportunities and experiences, such as residential breaks.

The Lowestoft project aims to empower young people so that they realise their full potential and aspire high.

Generous donations came from many, including local organisations such as Cranswick Country Foods, Lowestoft Tesco, Lowestoft Tesco Express, the Pakefield and Lowestoft Morrisons and Fully Loaded Removals Ltd.

The grand total of £12,218 raised will fund positive experiences and opportunities for young people across Lowestoft such as one-to-one support and advice alongside self-esteem workshops, trips and informal learning.

To find out more about The Shine Project and the work they do, visit its website.