BRANCHING OUT TO WARM UP HOMELESS
WATER bottles are about to start appearing on trees in Cardiff. The scheme, run by the Hot Water Bottle Network, is already running in places such as Bristol, Bath, Leicester and Brighton – and now it’s set to come to Cardiff.
But don’t worry, it’s not a strange message or some expressive form of art. They’re actually being placed around cities to help homeless people when the temperatures drop.
The hot water bottles will be labelled with directions to local businesses who have agreed to supply hot water in aid of the scheme.
But its success is reliant on donations of hot water bottles and the willingness of local businesses.
Volunteers behind the scheme now want local businesses across Cardiff to help with donation points and water refill points.
Founder Peter Wentland, 37, from Bristol, was homeless himself when he started the project.
He said: “I was homeless myself when I started the project and we very much welcome volunteers who are homeless or have experience of homelessness.
“The best way for people to help is by volunteering, or helping find donation spots, even if it is in local cafes, community centres or places of worship.
“People can also message our Facebook page while we establish drop-off points. All donations are very gratefully received: a small amount can go a long way and make a huge difference.”
So, basically, you’ll only see the hot water bottles if people are kind enough to donate them.
If you want to help out, all you have to do is sign up.
There is a Facebook group for each place’s network group and it’s here that you’ll be able to donate water bottles and offer services to provide hot water.
“Staying warm at night can literally be a matter of life and death. We want to see homeless people offered homes, nothing else will satisfy us or stop us from campaigning,” Peter added.
“There is no excuse for anyone to be sleeping rough in a 21st century rich nation like ours, or indeed anywhere. This is just an emergency measure to help make life a bit more bearable for people in very difficult circumstances.”
This is what trees could look like in Cardiff soon