Feature Housing News

Electric Picnic Sleeping Bags Gathered for the Homeless

While the aftermath of Electric Picnic is usually publicised for the carnage that is Stradbally on Day 4 of the festival, it’s rare that we hear about the millenials salvaging the remnants of former camping dwellings.

For the last four years NUIG Rover Society has been attending Electric Picnic to collect sleeping bags. These sleeping bags have been left behind by previous occupants at the Pink Moon Campsite; one of the four ‘boutique camping’ spots for EP goers enthusiastic to brave the ‘camping experience’, but not keen to forgo the lovely toilet and shower facilities the site has to offer.

Each year NUIG Rover Soc. makes contact with Pink Moon Camping to permit collection of the disregarded sleeping bags. The collection is in aid of COPE Galway; an organisation whose vision is to: ‘improve the quality of life in a home of your own for People affected by homelessness, Women & Children experiencing Domestic Violence, and Older People.’ The organisation has been providing social services to the Galway community since the 1970s, with 50% of the financial budget dedicated to homelessness.

This year NUIG Rovers spent Wednesday, 5th September, onsite collecting much needed sleeping bags for COPE. Three of the society’s members volunteered for the day, and from 10:30am to 5:30pm collected 200 sleeping bags; filling their van. All the sleeping bags collected were in good condition and could be dropped off at COPE Galway that evening.

COPE gave a shout-out to the students on Twitter sharing the intended route for the sleeping bags – Fairgreen Hostel; a 26 bedroom hostel, providing emergency and short term accomodation for men experiencing homelessness.

According to the Irish Independent: ‘One estimate reckons that several million euro worth of camping gear, electronic equipment and other valuables were simply discarded by departing revellers.’ The disregard and loss of value for what those in destitution would consider luxuries is questionable, but initiatives within a community similar to the work here by NUIG Rovers and COPE, is without a doubt resourcefulness at its finest.

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