IWAN Thomas is once again backing Saints Foundation and braving the elements for The Big Stadium Sleep Out at St Mary’s next month.
Back for its second year, the Big Stadium Sleep Out, taking place on Friday 27th March, challenges people to sleep out at St Mary's and get a real insight into what it’s like to not have somewhere to call home.
Twenty per cent of the proceeds from the event will be going towards The Big Issue Foundation and their fight to rid the UK of homelessness with the rest supporting Saints Foundation’s projects across the city including Saints4Sport. This initiative works closely with Society of St James, helping those going through life’s toughest battles – including homelessness.
Thomas is all too aware of the need to brave the cold and spend a night at the home of Southampton FC.
Speaking about the inaugural event in 2018, he said: “Last year was a tough night in the cold and the rain, but it really hit home how tough it is to be homeless each and every day. Our one night of sacrifice is just a drop in the ocean compared to living that reality every day.
“I am happy to be participating again this year and raising more funds for two fantastic causes.”
Recently, the former 400m European Champion visited one of Southampton’s living shelters to meet people that have been affected by homelessness in the city.
One of those was Natasha. She was a manager at a holistic company before personal circumstances left her homeless.
She explained: “It is a battle of survival. It can be really tough. You have no money and you fall into drugs, chasing an obsession. It was a terrible, terrible time.
“You are fighting for survival. You are fighting each day to try and get the bare necessities of life.”
Another person to speak to the TV personality was Dibs. After family issues led him to being on the street, he warned that homelessness can happen to anyone.
He said: “I’ve seen it happen to people that had everything. It can turn around so fast, you can go from everything to nothing in no time.
“It can be very lonely as well – all I had was my dogs.”
Both Natasha and Dibs are part of the community built by Society of St James and are now looking to a brighter future.
With some of the proceeds going to help people in similar circumstances, you can help transform lives by joining Iwan Thomas and Saints Foundation next month.
You have until the 20th February to sign up.