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‘SleepOut’ at the Cardiff City Stadium raises awareness of homelessness

Llamau SleepOut raises funds and awareness of homelessness ahead of difficult winter months where many face the prospect of living on the street

 

Preparation underway for a night sleeping out on concrete

Charity workers and volunteers swapped their beds for hard concrete to raise awareness of youth homelessness on behalf of local charity Llamau at the Cardiff City Stadium on 2 November.

Around 250 volunteers made their own shelters and spent the night sleeping in the concourse of the Cardiff City Stadium to raise funds and understanding of homelessness for progressive charity Llamau.

Donations from the event are still being provided with the total raised yet to be finalised. The 2016 SleepOut event raised over £40,000.

Elin Evans, Fundraising Events Officer for Llamau said, “We just need to look around us in any city in Wales to see that there are more and more people living on the streets. The funds raised for Llamau at Sleep Out help us to be there for vulnerable young people.”

Volunteers gather materials to structure their shelters in the concourse

Andrew Davies, who works at local housing association, Trivallis, took part in the event. He said, “Homelessness could affect anyone. At Trivallis we not only provide homes but the right services to enable our customers to live independently and successfully manage their tenancies. Whilst we make a real impact, I know that more can still be done, which is why I wanted to take part in the sleep-out and help raise funds for Llamau.”

I worked with my colleague to create a sleeping space out of cardboard which was tough, even with all the materials provided. The temperature on the night it was 9 degrees and sleeping was very difficult. I only did it for one night so can’t even imagine what it must be like for those who are sleeping rough when it goes below freezing.”

Volunteers get hands-on with their SleepOut night in the Cardiff City Stadium

Gina Hurley who also took part in the SleepOut said, “When it came to actually sleeping the reality hit me. It was cold and the concrete floor was hard despite being layered up with clothing and having cardboard. In the morning, I got to go to a warm home. Homeless people don’t have that privilege.”

Homelessness is a clear issue in Cardiff and across Wales with statistics showing it has risen 18% in a 12-month period between 2016 and 2017. The demands on the services charities like Llamau provide increase year on year.

Richard Leydon, a spokesperson for homelessness charity Huggard, said, “Something we would find useful would be the donation of towels and toiletries. They are very much in demand for people sleeping rough as they are difficult to take with you, and many rough sleepers need those things. And obviously, people can donate money to the Huggard and that allows us to provide support.”

If you would like to help and donate money, visit: http://www.huggard.org.uk/ or http://www.llamau.org.uk.