Festival donation is sweet music to homeless

Festival donation is sweet music to homeless

CHRIS ROCKS: Mandy Caddy and Steve Miller ensure Chris's gig has a positive impact

TRIBUTE: Mum Jean Jones and friend Steve Miller celebrate the life of Chris 'Hedgehog' Jones at Hedgefest

FREE SPIRIT: Chris 'Hedgehog' Jones

First published in News by

THE money made from a festival celebrating the life of a popular Barry man will fund a room for homeless people to stay this winter.

The £340 raised in memory of Chris ‘Hedgehog’ Jones last month will also help provide 24 Christmas meals at the YMCA in Cardiff this year.

Friend Steve Miller, a friend of Chris’s for around 30 years - playing guitars at his mother’s aged 14 and 15, organised the event.

Chris died on May 22 this year at the University Hospital of Wales after suffering a brain haemorrhage, on Holton Road, Barry, the day before.

Steve, 49, said: “Hedge loved his music and animals especially his dog. Hedge was always a free spirit and was always willing to help others. He will be sadly missed. I decided to honour him in having Hedgefest. Hedge would have loved this idea.

Four bands and Chris’s niece Seren performed at the Barry Island Sports & Social Club.

Steve said: “The night was a huge success everyone enjoyed the night and Hedgefest raising in total £340 for the YMCA in Cardiff - something Chris felt strongly about.

“It’s fantastic that even now he has helped others and makes someone smile which Chris loved to do.

“All of Hedge’s family were there. We’re definitely having a yearly Hedgefest by popular demand and hope it becomes bigger and stronger and hope it becomes a well worthy charitable festival.

Mandy Caddy, of the YMCA Cardiff, said: “The donation in Chris’s memory was very much appreciated, and will help the homeless in Cardiff very much.

“For hundreds of people, a freezing street or a park bench will be the only place they have left to go during the winter months. That’s why Steven chose to use some of the money raised to sponsor a room for one month this winter. By sponsoring the room in Chris’s memory we will be able to positively help the lives of residents during a time of great anxiety and uncertainty, giving a homeless person not just a safe place to stay, but a future where they will also have the opportunity to learn the skills they need to move on with their lives.

“The donation will also provide 24 Christmas meals for homeless people in our hostels this year. It’s not just the food that makes an occasion special – it’s enjoying it in the company of loved ones. When you’re homeless there’s often no one to invite you to Christmas lunch.

We can’t thank Chris’s family enough. Chris’s family are helping us to make a difference. With help like this, we really can offer more than just a roof.”

The Caring Gifts catalogue can be found at www.cardiffymcaha.co.uk

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