Banksy supports Idles' Bristol gig to buy 400 'sleep pods'

Bristol punk band Idles (Joe Talbot: Singer, Adam Devonshire: Bassist, Mark Bowen: Guitarist, Lee Kiernan: Guitarist, Jon Beavis: Drums)
Image caption Mercury Prize-nominated band Idles will play the gig later with Geoff Barrow's Beak and others

Banksy has designed merchandise for a sold-out gig featuring Idles and Geoff Barrow's Beak aiming to fund 400 "sleep pods" for rough sleepers.

The elusive Bristol artist has created T-shirts with a festive design which will go on sale at the concert at the city's Marble Factory later.

The gig will support four homeless charities.

Sleep pods are thermal shelters originally created in Calais to protect refugees by keeping them dry and warm.

The pods will be given out by homeless charities in Bristol, Bath and Weston.

Proceeds from the event will go to local charities The Wild Goose, 1625 Independent People, Feed the Homeless Bristol and Somewhere to Go (Weston-super-Mare).

Image copyright Banksy
Image caption The Banksy artwork shows a man called Ryan on a bench being "pulled" by two reindeer

Earlier in the week Banksy created a festive-themed piece of art highlighting homelessness in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter.

The work features in a film on Instagram that shows a man named Ryan on a bench being "pulled" by two reindeer painted on a brick wall.

Vulnerable people

The £10,000 target to buy sleep pods was raised through ticket sales to the event and donations from Boomtown Fair, Love Saves The Day, Shambala and pub owners.

Bristol City Council's rough sleeping partner organisation, St Mungo's, had contact with 951 people in 2018 - a 23% increase on the previous year.

Image caption Sleep pods provide privacy for rough sleepers and are warm

Tom Friend, from Friendly Records, said they had been "overwhelmed by the response" to the gig.

"There is so much support from the local community in helping people who have nowhere to live."

Shada Nasrullah, trustee for Feeding Bristol's Homeless, said rough sleepers were "more susceptible to illness and infections" so having somewhere "warm and dry to sleep will save lives".

About 100 of the pods have already been given out to homeless people in Bristol.

Tests on the pods show they stay about 17C warmer than the outside air.

Newly-homeless Christopher Sanderman was given one by community group People's Republic of Stokes Croft.

Mr Sanderman said: "I can safely say it was very warm at night."

Image copyright People's Republic of Stokes Croft
Image caption The People's Republic of Stokes Croft has a store outside its headquarters where it can give out sleep pods, tents, warm clothes and sleeping bags

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