Tag Archives: homeless cardiff

Gifts for homeless people in Cardiff: Christmas 2016 edition

We’ve already had a couple of you eager and generous beavers messaging us on our We Are Cardiff Facebook page, wanting to know how you can help the less fortunate this Christmas.

Photo by Ben Blyth Photography, from his Behind the Streets project
Photo by Ben Blyth Photography, from his Behind the Streets project

Well, I haven’t heard anything from Project Shoebox yet, but I did come across this project: South Wales gifts for the homeless, which is putting together gift bags for homeless and vulnerable people. Last year they raised £700 and created 1000 bags, but this year they want to smash their target and raise enough to put together 2000 bags. They’re asking for donations of items to go in gift bags, but also looking for money to  buy food vouchers.


List of possible things to donate:

  • Umbrellas
  • Water
  • Toilet paper
  • Socks
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Blankets
  • Raincoats
  • Gloves
  • Sleeping bags
  • Women’s sanitary products
  • Wet wipes
  • Dog food
  • Tooth brush
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Dental floss
  • Scarves
  • Hats
  • Shoes
  • Jumpers
  • Deodorant
  • Hair brush
  • Lip balm
  • Back packs
  • Razors
  • Needles and thread
  • Pens and paper
  • Nail cutters
  • Snacks bars
  • First aid stuff
  • Gift cards
  • Watches
  • Cinema tickets
  • Tents
  • Thick socks
  • Emergency blankets (the thin silver kind)

Please note: they are not accepting any baby or children’s items.

Currently the group has drop off points in: Bargoed, Bridgend, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Treorchy and Abertillery.

If anyone is interested in volunteering or co-ordinating a drop-off point, please visit the Homeless gifts Facebook group which has been set up for discussion, and message organiser Katie (she’s going to need all the help she can get sorting out the donations!)

South Wales gifts for homeless people Facebook event page

We have a number of charities in and around Cardiff that help homeless and vulnerable people all year round. Learn about their work and how you can help:

Also, just a final word: over the past week I’ve stopped for a chat with two homeless guys on the street. One served in Iraq, the other had been an addict most of his life and kept losing any housing he was assigned to. It was humbling and made me feel like a total piece of crap for all the vulnerable people on the street asking for help I don’t stop to talk to.

I get that modern life is busy and everyone is in a rush to get to where they’re going, but stopping for a chat and buying someone a cup of tea doesn’t take much out of your day. It’s freaking cold out there, guys.



PS the image above is from Ben Blyth’s Behind The Streets photography project.


Buy a coffee for the homeless while you’re purchasing your flat white…

We featured The Boardroom Cafe on the blog a couple of weeks ago. Now more good news about an initiative being run through the cafe – you can buy a ‘suspended coffee’, which owner Caroline will give to a homeless person at the end of the day.

Neat, huh?

the boardwalk cafw

Caroline says: “Customers responded well to the idea straightaway but it has taken a while to spread the word among people who can come in and claim their free tea or coffee.”

Read our review of The Boardroom

Read the rest of Caroline’s interview in WalesOnline about the suspended coffee scheme: Kind customers at this cafe

and for goodness sake, go visit the place! Online: The Boardroom Cafe Facebook page and in real life: 8 Duke Street Arcade.


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Check out what’s going on with We Are Cardiff Press

Please help save Cardiff’s Nightshelter!

We’ve posted a couple of pleas for help over the festive period so far – one was to donate items to the Huggard Centre, helping the homeless in Cardiff, and the other was to donate toiletries for Project Shoebox, helping women and children in shelters across Cardiff and the local region. We’ll post an update on Project Shoebox soon, but in the meantime we’ve got ANOTHER plea for help – this time to help keep open the Nightshelter in Cardiff.



The Nightshelter opened in 1998. It was intended as a bridge between the street and hostel and originally was established as a time-limited winter shelter. It provides safety, warmth and food. Residents can take a hot shower, use the laundry facilities and enjoy a proper cooked meal. They also signpost people to longer-term solutions so they can escape the streets.

Residents have access to a support worker. Need assessments, risk assessments and support plans are produced. Resettlement, benefits and liaison with health, criminal justice agencies and gateway is part of the core service provided.

The Nightshelter provides 10 beds of emergency accommodation (plus two additional emergency beds that have never received public funding) in the Riverside area of Cardiff. Residents can access the Nightshelter between the hours of 7:30pm – 9:30am.

It has five shared bedrooms, a communal living room, kitchen, bathroom and WC. The Nightshelter is used by rough sleepers aged 18 and over, including vulnerable women and young people. Shockingly, in the last year, one third of those who accessed the service were aged 18 – 25.

In 2003, revenue funding received was £155,154. In 2014 approximately £97,000 was cut from the budget leaving just £60,000 to run the service. In 2015 the proposal is £0.

As a result of cuts to Local Authority funding, the emergency Nightshelter in Cardiff is in danger of closing. More than 250 people use the crucial service every year. Closure would mean an additional 10 to 12 people would be forced to sleep rough on the streets of Cardiff every night.


We need to raise £21,000 to keep the shelter open. The shelter has already secured £20,000 towards running costs and is working hard with fundraising events and bucket collections to raise the rest. Keeping the Nightshelter open for the next 12 months depends on your generosity – we need this Crowdfunding appeal to reach its target so we can keep vulnerable people safe.

SO FAR the Crowdfunding appeal has raised over £4k. That’s great, BUT IT’S NOT ENOUGH.


Here are We Are Cardiff (bearing in mind WAC s a voluntary project that doesn’t make any money and relies entirely on voluntary contributions), we’ve donated £25. It’s not much, but if everyone in the city donated just ONE POUND the Nightshelter would raise over £300K!

If you’re yet to buy some loved ones their gifts, how about donating a little money towards helping keep the Nightshelter open – then tell your friends and family about their incredible altruism.


Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you – and please try and spare whatever you can to help the less fortunate at this cold and dark time of year, eh?