From festival trash to housing stash: abandoned tents benefit the homeless

Festival-goers' abandoned tents at Wakestock, Wales, pic credit: Graham Williams

It’s summer festival season, and the scene above will be a familiar sight to music lovers and festival organisers around the country. But what do you do the morning after the night before – apart from chuck thousands of abandoned tents and other camping debris into landfull? Well if you work in housing in North Wales, you launch an innovative little scheme to re-distribute tents and other camping kit like clothing and sleeping bags to hostels and drop in centres across the region.

Staff and service users from North Wales Housing’s homeless hostel in Bangor, St Mary’s, have made good use of a stash of abandoned camping equipment after the Wakestock festival in Cardigan Bay, North Wales, earlier this month.

North Wales Housing staff pose with their haul of shelters

The equipment by the housing association staff and hostel users includes some 79 pop up tents, 38 normal tents, 47 sleeping bags, 54 inflatable beds, 51 camping chairs, 45 roll mats including thermo rests, 17 pairs of wellies and eight new pillows. All items will be redistributed to rough sleepers and at other local hostels and day centres.

Kerry Jones of St Mary’s Hostel says: “As the months get colder, the need for shelter, warm clothing and blankets escalates and we struggle to be able to provide everyone with the support that they need. This collection will help not only our service users but many other nearby homeless facilities.”

Housing staff ferry the tents and equipment back to the hostel

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