Student Sleep Out!

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On Friday 10th November 38 brave students spent the night on the 3G rugby pitch on Cyncoed Campus supporting the homeless in collaboration with the Welsh Llamau who work closely with the homeless and vulnerable.

By 7:00pm students were gathered in Centro ready to endure a long night in the cold. To kick-start the evening Nikita Marlow – one of the organisers of the event – hosted a general knowledge quiz. As the competitive vibes flowed, the prizes up for grabs soon disappeared. Hot chocolate, flasks, space hoppers, gloves and free VIP tickets to Soda were won by the different teams and everybody scored at least one point.

After the quiz, the Students’ Union Web and Communications Co-Ordinator swapped his computer for a guitar and joined the band Todd Bonsalez who performed a 30 minute set.

Although the students brought their own sleeping bags, blankets and pillows – the Welsh weather was against us, so we relied on cardboard and plastic sheets to shelter us from the rain. So, next on the agenda was the making of these homes. At around 11:30 we clung onto the warmth of Centro for a moment longer and carried all of the cardboard over to the 3G pitch at around 11:30pm to officially start the Sleep Out.

Under minimal shelter from the stalls, the teams worked together to build their homes out of cardboard and Ellie Unwin’s team were awarded a prize for the best shelter.

It was about 12:30am when the teams started to settle down and make their beds for tonight, but it was also around this time where the student’s eyes were opened. More than 150,000 young people ask for help with homelessness every year, and thousands of them in Wales. Within an hour of sleeping on the floor in the cold and rain the students began to realise how hard it was to spend a few hours sleeping out in the cold – let alone a lifetime.

From 1:00am to 6:45am we attempted to sleep. The rain started to get heavier and the sleeping bags were getting wet and students were adding layers as the hours passed. Most people slept, but there was the odd two who were absolutely freezing and had to stay warm. At 6:45am we called it quits as the day light was appearing and headed home to warm comfy beds – something we now looked to as a privileged.

As a Students’ Union we are proud that we had 52 students attend the evening and 36 students spare a night for the homeless. One of the students commented ‘I think the night really opened my eyes. I felt the time went really slow and I was looking forward to it being the morning and the sun coming up. To think thousands of people have to do that every night scared me’. We would like to continue working with Llamau to do our bit for the charity and lend a hand to the homeless where we can.

                                                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A big thanks to Maddy Sims and Nikita Marlow for organising the event. Thanks to Domino’s Pizza and Soda Bar for donating free pizza and tickets for the event.