On Thursday 10th November the Y Prentis team took part in the Llamaus’ Big Sleepout, an annual event held to help raise awareness of the plight of so many who are forced to sleep on our streets every day.

Llamau also raise much needed money to support homeless young people and vulnerable women in Wales.

Sleeping rough was something none of us had experienced before so we had no idea what to expect, we all wrapped up in a few layers of clothes and waterproofs, taking along our sleep bags and very little else!

We arrived at 7pm for registration led into the event where we were serenaded by the Llamau’s choir sang, with special guest Wynne Evans (famous for the Go Compare adverts) who opened the event. 

From there the challenge began. We were presented with our rudimental shelter building kit, containing cardboard, tarpaulin and tape and were given  an hour to construct what would be our home for the night.  The direction was to create something that would fit all 5 team members and our sleeping bags, and would protect us from the elements. This exercise was a great team building experience, but showed us how difficult it must be to construct your home for the night every day, with very little resources to hand.

We were fortunate that we were provided with food for the evening but it made us all too aware that this isn’t always the experience of many homeless people in Wales.  

By 2am everyone had made their way into the shelters to try and get some sleep. It was strange sleeping outside with no walls to protect you from the wind and cold. We were lucky enough that it didn’t rain and we had the knowledge that we were safe inside an enclosed area, but this isn’t always the case for homeless people who have to endure all weather conditions and the daily dangers of sleeping rough.

A difficult, uncomfortable and long night ensued, where little sleep was had by the team, however everyone remained upbeat.

After a half 5 wake up call we headed home, all we could think about was getting home into our warm, cosy beds. Sleeping out made us realise how lucky we are to have a roof over our heads and a warm meal more than once a day. Although it was tough we would all do it again and want to continue supporting Llamau each year in participating in the Big Sleep Out!