YOUNGSTERS are preparing to experience sleeping in the open to highlight the issue of homelessness.

The beer garden of The Swan Inn, Gwernymynydd, will play host next week to more than 30 children who will be taking part in the event in aid of the homeless charity, Shelter.

The party will swap the comfort and warmth of their own homes to experience the outdoors.

Anita Thomas, the licensee at the pub, hopes the event will hit home with the children the significance of homelessness.

She said: “We thought about a sleep-out for the children and we got talking and we just came up with the idea of doing it for charity.

“This is a really worthy cause. The children will have blankets and quilts. It will make them realise how lucky they have it.

“People end up on the street through no fault of their own.”

All children wishing to take part in the Easter holiday event must be accompanied by a parent, carer or other responsible adult, as all ages look to play their part in the event.

“We contacted Shelter and they are delighted we are raising funds on their behalf,” added Anita.

Anita’s friend, Karen Jones, has been busy helping to raise cash with donations from local residents.

Karen said: “You do not have to take part yourself. Just pledge support to a child that is.

“We are hoping to raise at least £500 for the charity which will be a fantastic effort for a small village such as ours.

“Let’s hope it is decent weather, which will make all the difference.”

Parents and children are welcome to take part in the event on Tuesday, April 19.

Andrew Jones at Shelter Cymru said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone taking part in this sleep out. Every year, Shelter Cymru helps thousands of people who are at risk of losing their home or living in poor housing conditions.

“Events like this are vital to our work, helping both to raise much-needed funds and highlight Shelter Cymru’s services in the local area.”

For more information contact 07961068934.