Here’s how you can help the homeless in Cardiff this Christmas
Make a big difference this winter
With homelessness on the rise every year, it becomes more and more difficult for charities and organisations to aid those in need, particularly at Christmas time. However there are lots ways that YOU can help Cardiff’s homeless this Winter.
Donating to a charity is one of the simplest and easiest ways to get involved. This is important throughout the year but Christmas and winter can be even more of a struggle for them so here are just a handful of great charities that we found within Cardiff.
Charities like Llamau, Huggard and The Wallich do brilliant things for the homeless in Cardiff. Llamau focus on helping vulnerable young people and women who are struggling with homelessness. They provide support for mental health and employment opportunities. You can support them by donating or fundraising with for or with them.
Huggard run a day centre and a hostel to help anyone who is sleeping rough in Cardiff. They provide emergency overnight accommodation, which is especially important during these winter months. You can help by either donating or volunteering, such as being trained to help in their Café H.
Also, The Wallich aim to keep people off the streets, while also creating opportunities for them. They organise statement-making demonstrations. They worked alongside artist Maxwell Rushton to raise awareness of homelessness through sculptures placed around Cardiff. You can help by purchasing a range of products from their online shop, donating, fundraising or volunteering.
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I’ve been collaborating with a charity in Cardiff called @homelessinwales to create new ‘Left Out’ sculptures. Charities like The Wallich are preventing what we see on the streets from being the end of someone’s story. A short documentary of this project, ‘Chrysalis’ + multiples of the sculptures will be exhibited inside the beautiful @thecentre_yganolfan on 27/11/19. Massive shout out to The Wallich for the work they do and the impact they’re having. Thank fuck for organisations like theirs. Prevention, outreach, counselling, housing, learning, employment and more – check them out.
Cardiff Foodbank is a chain of seven food banks across the city ranging from Cathays to Grangetown. We visited the Cathays branch at the Woodville Christian Centre and donated items that they were in need of.
The Cardiff Tab spoke to a team member who told us what users of the food bank need: "They need a voucher, signed and dated, and they have to bring it in within a week, because it is supposed to be for emergencies. It’s not intended for long term, it’s intended for people in crisis and have got nothing".
The food bank also offers emotional support, the team member said: "It depends on the person, some of them want to sit on their own, but if they like to tell someone their situation we try to be available but don’t force it on people".
There is always at least one food bank branch open everyday over Cardiff (except Sundays). This a great way to help counter homelessness and food poverty in an easy and cheap way.
Instead of throwing away your old and unused clothes, why not donate them to your local clothes bank? This way your clothes are being recycled and going to people who need them the most. There are clothes banks all over Cardiff, even in most student accommodations.
Something very special you can do is create care packages to give out to the rough sleepers of Cardiff. Useful items you could include are: thermal blankets, sleeping bags, gloves, socks and non-perishable food. This is also a great opportunity to get your community involved and all make care packages to give out together while raising awareness for homelessness.
Another thing you could do which is only small, but makes a big difference, is tying blankets to lampposts around Cardiff city centre. This way the homeless have easy access to them, and this is a particularly good way of helping the homeless if you don't have a big budget yourself.
There are many ways you can help the homeless this winter. Why not try one, because after all 't’is the season of love and understanding' right?