An outreach worker based at Wrexham’s night shelter for the homeless donned a kilt and flexed his muscles to provide porridge for rough-sleepers.
Paul Thorpe, who is based at the Ty Nos night shelter, took part in the Ardblair Atlas Stones event at the Highland games in Perth, and has raised enough sponsorship to fund more than 1,000 pots of porridge which will help feed the town’s homeless this winter.
He said: “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.
“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 texted saying the service users were all asking how I got on, which was very touching to hear.”
Paul, of Wrexham, said he had won powerlifting and bodybuilding titles in previous years.
“But doing this for those in need on the streets was far more rewarding and enjoyable than anything I had done before,” he said.
“I certainly plan to head back next year and participate again as it was such a great experience" “
He thanked colleagues, family members and all those who sponsored him.
”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,” he said.
Ty Nos – which is run by Clwyd Alyn Housing Association – 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.
Andy Roberts, supported living manager with Clwyd Alyn, praised Paul’s efforts at the games.
He said: “The whole team based at Ty 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.”
To donate further porridge pots or other items to support the shelter’s work, call 01978 291 274 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.