Sleeping bags left behind at EP given to homeless people

By Fiona Frawley

September 26, 2022 at 3:51pm

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Hundreds of sleeping bags were left behind after Electric Picnic this year - volunteers from the Portlaoise Action to Homelessness group have now begun distributing them to people in need in Dublin.

The group drive to Dublin twice a week with a van full of food, clothing and other donated supplies, which they appeal for on their Facebook page.

In regular updates, they relay the growing number of people in need of their services, one week noting that they ran out of food within an hour of setting up.

Earlier this month, Portlaoise Action to Homelessness (PATH) collected as many as 500 sleeping bags from the Electric Picnic site after the festival ended, appealing to members of the public via Facebook to wash and dry them. In a post, they wrote:

We are deeply aware of the rising cost of electricity prices so even if you can only take 1 or 2 sleeping bags to wash and dry we would be extremely grateful for your support. 

Footage shared by RTÉ News shows the group preparing the sleeping bags to be distributed.

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Aware of the way the cost-of-living crisis is affecting everyone, the group regularly share information of deals and offers on chocolate, soft drinks and other food stuffs for those who may be looking to donate. Everything PATH distribute to the homeless is donated to them, a group volunteer told RTÉ.

Volunteers also told RTÉ that while demand for their services is rising, so too are their own costs.

"Our van - it used to cost us €80 to fill the van," said Irene Redmond of PATH, "and that would do the two runs, up and back. It’s now costing us €140 to fill the van and we might not get the second run out of it."

Another volunteer, Catherine Bennett, added:

Everyone is hit at the moment. Absolutely everyone. The best of people. They’re working and they can’t make ends meet. I know people who come and look for food and don’t want to ask for it because they’re too embarrassed and they are working. Because their money is going on mortgage, electricity, gas.

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You can find out more about donating to PATH, with physical goods or via Revolut HERE.

Header image via Facebook/PATH

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