BRANCH­ING OUT TO WARM UP HOME­LESS

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - KATIE-ANN GUPWELL AND AAMIR MO­HAMMED Re­porters katieann.gupwell@waleson­line.co.uk

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

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