Blakemore Retail Senior Regional Manager Owen Davies took part in a rough sleep out to help raise awareness of homelessness and raise £650 for local homeless charities in Newtown, North Wales.
Organised by the Newtown Rotary Club, the Big Rough Sleep Out took place on the 18 May and saw 31 volunteers from the Newtown community tasked with building shelters out of cardboard boxes and sleeping rough for the night.
NPTC Newtown College Campus provided a venue for the sleep out’s cardboard city, which is hoped will raise a grand total of £15,000 through sponsorship.
Owen recognised an opportunity to get involved and support the local community, and requested a goods donation of refreshments from the Blakemore Foundation for the event.
The Newtown Rotary Club organised the sleep out to help raise awareness of homelessness, both at home and abroad, as well as raise funds to support local organisations that directly assist people who become homeless and help to prevent it in future.
Owen commented: “Sleeping rough for the evening was quite a humbling experience; building our shelters in the cold really brought home the plight of the homeless.
“I only managed about 30 minutes sleep overall and found myself sitting round a campfire with strangers for most of the night, until 4am came and the sun began to rise and we had a great dawn chorus from the birds.
“I’m very pleased I was able to make the effort and share the experience with all involved. I don’t know if I will be in a hurry to do it again, but it certainly gave me something to take away and think about.”
Owen raised £400 for the event, with the Blakemore Foundation providing a £250 match funding donation.
The money raised by the event will go towards helping several organisations, including local charities Newtown Foodbank, Ponthafren Association and The Wallich Shelterbox.