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
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
Amany is hoping to begin the
project again in the next few months and will be sharing updates on via
If you would like to read this story in Welsh, click here.