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Cardiff Met Students Help Keep Cardiff Warm This Winter



Cardiff Met students sort through donations prior to distributing Cwtch bags.

​Amany Wafa, an MSc Event Project Management student at Cardiff Metropolitan University, recently launched a new project on campus with the help of other students and staff to prepare and hand out ‘Cwtch Bags’ to rough sleepers in Cardiff.

Coming home to Cardiff from Swindon on a late train one cold night, Amany looked around and decided to no longer ignore the ‘invisible people’ sleeping rough in the streets of the Welsh capital.

After liaising with homeless charities and doing her own research, she came up with the idea of distributing Cwtch Bags containing blankets, hats, scarves, gloves and socks, but also sanitary products and toiletries, dog food, flasks, coffee vouchers and a warm message of support contained in each package.

A lot of thought went into the bags, ensuring they would not include any sharp objects to guarantee the safety of both the people receiving the bags and the volunteers distributing.

Over three weeks, donations were collected across three Cardiff Met communal areas at the Students’ Union in Llandaff; on Cyncoed campus and Plas Gwyn Halls of Residence.

To help spread the word, Amany got in touch with her university’s International Office, Careers Service, Student Union, Residence Life Programme and student societies. The project also received support from the Little Man Coffee Shop, which provided coffee vouchers.

From an initial fundraising bake sale, to the packing and distribution of bags, over 20 volunteers took part in the entire project and handed out 44 bags throughout Cardiff’s city centre on Thursday (November 29th) before celebrating with hot chocolates all round.

Commenting on how the project came about, Amany said: “It was like a wake-up call, one of those moments when you know you cannot continue to stand by and watch idly or choose to ignore.  Cardiff is faced with a growing homelessness crisis, and there is so much that we can do, as a community, to help the people most affected by it.

“I would like to thank everyone who took part in the Cwtch Bags Project, and in particular the Cardiff Met Christian Union Society and the Students’ Union who have supported the project through all its stages and without whom we couldn’t not have gathered so many donations.

Amany is hoping to begin the project again in the next few months and will be sharing updates on via Twitter: @cwtchbags. 

If you would like to read this story in Welsh, click here.