Players from Cardiff Blues Academy will this season be helping feed the homeless after the region backed a Cardiff based charity.
The Rainbow of Hope is a Cardiff based charity that launched in 1995 to reach out to the homeless and disadvantaged people by offering food, shelter, clothing, support and advice.
Every two months 12 players from Cardiff Blues will now be going out to support the ‘Paradise Run’ that sees the homeless fed behind Marks & Spencer in Charles Street.
Each group is tasked with working out what food is required to feed around 50 homeless people providing a hot meal and drinks on the night, and also providing sandwiches and a drink for lunch the next day.
The players have donated their own money to purchase the necessary items and then meet up to prepare the food together about an hour and a half before it needs serving. The players work out who will cook, who will make the sandwiches, who will prepare the drinks.
The players took part in the charity’s work for the first time earlier this month and Martin Lewis, Chaplain at Cardiff Blues, was delighted with the response.
He said: “The lads do a great job in serving the food and drinks and trying to engage with those around them.
“Being in their Cardiff Blues togs always creates much interest and many want photos. Others understandably want to remain anonymous as being homeless is for many hugely embarrassing. Nevertheless most recipients are always so grateful to those who serve them and many remark they can't believe that a professional rugby outfit would bother with them!
“In turn the lads and coaches are left feeling humbled and so appreciative of they own families and upbringing. Lads share how guys younger than them are already sleeping rough, or how simply losing a job has set off a chain of events leading to loss of partner, of home and a slide into addictions or just how many homeless there are in our own city.
“Such evenings really help the lads see the world through a bigger lens, of realising how tough life can get and hopefully whilst empathising with the plight of others, never wanting to end up in such a situation themselves. We look forward to the next one in December.”