An outreach worker based at Wrexham’s night shelter for homeless people has donned a kilt and flexed his muscles to provide porridge for rough-sleepers after taking part in the Highland Games in Scotland.
Paul Thorpe, who is an outreach worker based at the Tŷ Nos night shelter on Holt Road, took on the mighty ‘Ardblair Atlas Stones’ event at the Highland games in Perth to help fund food supplies for Wrexham’s homeless after donations to the shelter were running low.
Tŷ Nos, which is operated by Clwyd Alyn Housing, is open 365 nights of the year offering 16 bed spaces, an evening meal and breakfast every night on a first-come, first served basis to homeless men and women.
The shelter provides a wide range of advice and support for service-users as well as outreach assistance for the town’s wider homeless community.
His success at the games means that Paul has raised enough sponsorship to fund over 1000 pots of porridge which will help feed the town’s homeless for a number of the coming winter months.
“For a while now while working on outreach I have been daily offering pots of porridge as a nutritious food along with a hot drink for those struggling on the streets,” said Paul.
“As donations were getting low I decided to do something to raise funds so we could keep doing so. Since Scotland is synonymous for porridge oats as well as for their historic Highland Games – this seemed a way to combine the two and help Wrexham’s homeless community at the same time.
“Lots of those living on the streets and using the night shelter were so encouraging about it and kept asking how the training was going in the weeks before I travelled up to Scotland. The night after the games a colleague at the night shelter text saying the service users were all asking how I got on which was very touching to hear.”
Paul has previously won bodybuilding and powerlifting titles, however this is the first time he had taken on such a challenge.
Speaking about his experience at the games, Paul said it was “far more rewarding and enjoyable than anything” he had done before – with plans to go back to Perth and compete next year.
He added: “I’d like to say a massive thanks to my family, co-workers and everyone who sponsored me – the pots of porridge are a really good practical way of supporting the homeless community and also help us engage with folk to offer them advice and support with health and housing from the range of services in Wrexham.”
Andy Roberts, supported living manager with Clwyd Alyn praised Paul’s strong-arm support work, stating: “The whole team based at Tŷ Nos provide a vital professional service supporting homeless people and it’s fair to say Paul went more than the extra mile to help out with his Herculean weight-lifting challenge.”
Anyone wishing to donate further porridge pots or other items which can be used to support the shelter’s work can call 01978 291274 or email firstname.lastname@example.org