Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sleep rough for the night?
Llamau’s Sleep Out Challenge is a chance to do just that, and last night three Foundation staff members joined over 200 people in the car park of Cardiff City Stadium, to experience the horrendous conditions so many young people in Wales endure on a daily basis.
This is a unique fundraising event for homeless and disadvantaged young people in Wales, a growing concern that is clearly noticeable when walking the streets of the Welsh Capital. A ground breaking report published in 2014 estimated a staggering 140,063 young people in Wales experienced homelessness, a figure that’s risen since.
The first task of the night was to build a shelter ready for the long night ahead, Director of Education & Inclusion Ria Male and Education Tutors Christian Byard and Matthew Pugh did an exceptional job building what they could from cardboard and foil blankets, such a good job that they won the prize for the ‘best looking shelter’.
Dan Nevison-Holland was living on the streets of Cardiff when he developed a relationship with Llamau’s support team. Llamau provided Dan with individual support, which involved introducing Dan to Cardiff City FC Foundation.
Dan is now studying on the Foundation’s ‘Foundation Degree in Community Football Coaching and Development‘, and will be taking part in the Full 90 Enterprise Academy.
Dan is true testament to the life changing work carried out by Llamau, and attended last night’s ‘Sleep Out’ whilst provided entertainment throughout the night with his card trick skills.
The event proved to be a huge success, with plenty of entertainment and refreshments to keep spirits high before settling down in individual or group shelters.
Ria Male expressed her experience of the discomfort of trying to sleep on cardboard boxes:
“I wrapped myself in countless layers in preparation for the night, but there’s no escaping the cold concrete, even with layers of cardboard.”
“My cheeks were slightly exposed and they felt frozen, it was difficult to get comfortable and nod off, I’m shattered today. I don’t think I could sleep like that for two nights in a row, even after a hot shower and a warm meal”.
All three staff members arrived at work this morning ready for the day ahead, the challenge today will be a test of their mental strength, coping with the demands of their working day following last night’s experience.
Llamau’s Cardiff Sleep Out runs in the same month as other Sleep Out events take place in cities across the UK, all raising money and awareness for the most vulnerable young people in our society.
For more information of Llamau, the leading Homelessness Charity for young people and women in Wales click here.