South East Wales

Eighty sleep outside Principality Stadium for Byte Night

Rough sleepers for Byte Night Cardiff Image copyright Action for Children

About 80 people from Welsh businesses gave up their beds and slept rough outside Cardiff's Principality Stadium on Friday night.

They took part in Byte Night, the UK's largest sleep-out, to help prevent and raise money for youth homelessness.

Sleep-outs took place in 10 UK cities, and for the first time in Cardiff.

The number of rough sleepers in the capital increased by 83% between 2014-15 and 2015-16, according to Welsh homelessness charity the Wallich.

It is hoped the Byte Night event will raise £1.2m for Action for Children's youth services.

KPMG, Admiral, BT, Acorn and Barclays were among the businesses taking part.

Image copyright Action for Children

David Sadler from Acorn and co-chairman of the Byte Night Wales board, said: "It was a tough night in many ways but also a great night of networking, fun and camaraderie.

"What we must never forget is that we returned to warm homes, full fridges and cosy beds in the morning.

"For many young people living in Wales and across the UK, this simply isn't the case."

Image copyright Action for Children

The Wallich's intervention team go into Cardiff each morning to support the homeless, offering them food and drink, clean clothing, as well as advice on where they can get temporary accommodation.

On average, 23 people were supported each morning between April 2015 and March 2016.

A charity spokesman said: "We are extremely concerned with the increased figures. In April this year we recorded the highest number of rough sleepers and it's a trend we don't want to see.

"We believe the rise is partly due to increased financial pressures on people and the reality that one in three of the population is one lost pay cheque away from failing to pay the rent."

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