Sleeping rough for We Are Cardiff …

Hi friends,

On Thursday 27 March I’m going to be sleeping rough to raise money for local charities that support the homeless and vulnerable here in Cardiff.

I know times are hard, but imagine having to sleep outside during the really REALLY bad weather that we had earlier this year. I only have to do it for one night, and I’m absolutely bricking it. Imagine having to do it every night – whatever the weather is doing. Pretty terrible, hey.

So please donate whatever you can: my Justgiving link is here – Justgiving Helia Phoenix

The event is called CEO Sleepout, and the Cardiff event will be held on 27 March 2014 in Cardiff Castle. I’ll be liveblogging the night on the @WeAreCardiff Twitter feed (there will be reminders on that closer to the time…) 

In case you and I haven’t met before, this is me. I’m frequently found running around under bypasses waving brightly coloured balls in the air. Ooer.

Helia Phoenix - photograph taken by Simon Ayre

So, how did I get involved … occasionally I’ll write about someone who I’ll refer to as a ‘friend of We Are Cardiff’. These are typically people who have written for the blog, and volunteered to help out in some other way, possibly donating money or time or body parts to help out in times of need on the blog. I was sort of kidding about the body parts, but some of these people are the most generous you’ll ever meet. One of those is the guy who kicked off this website, in terms of being the first person who wrote a story for it.

That dude is Neil Cocker, and what a dude he is. This is Neil, squinting into the sunlight for his We Are Cardiff portrait…

neil cocker

Anyway, a few weeks back Neil posted on Facebook about taking part in something called the CEO Sleep Out Cardiff, where local business people and founders of organisations are sleeping rough to raise money for three local charities who help homeless and vulnerable individuals.

I had a look at the website, and was pretty amazed by the number of people who were volunteering for the Cardiff Sleep Out compared to other events held at the time. There were a lot of people volunteering, like really a lot. I emailed Neil about it, and he convinced me to do it. I enjoyed his email, so I’ll reproduce it here:

“Do it.
Do it.
It’ll be fun*

* cold, wet, miserable. But very worthwhile, raise loads of cash for people who have to do it every day, and something to tell your grandkids.”

Neil is a bit of an inspiration. He’s one of those “run marathons, run my own business, donate money to charities, volunteer for everything and still have time to go out and enjoy life” people, as you’ll probably gather from his We Are Cardiff entry. I won’t go into everything that Neil does, because, quite frankly, this blog post is meant to be about me rather than him (though you should definitely go to Neil Cocker’s website and read all about him there). So it’s not surprising at all that he’s volunteered for this, nor that he’s already raised nearly £300 probably by doing absolutely nothing other than signing up.

If you’d rather sponsor Neil I won’t take it personally – the important thing is that the charities get your monies, after all. In fact, I sponsored him! Visit Neil’s fundraising page.

The three local charities being supported by CEO Sleepout Cardiff are:


Service Leavers Wales

Cardiff Food Bank

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting more about the great work that those charities do. So stay tuned! And in case you forgot to do it the first time – sponsor me for the Cardiff sleep out here


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