Boomerang

A Cardiff man who started a charity after a chance encounter with two homeless people has appealed for help to create a new community centre in Splott .

Paul Gwilym, from Tremorfa , started his charity Boomerang in 2012 after talking to two homeless people outside a shop in the city.

Since then Boomerang’s volunteers have fed the homeless in Cardiff between two and four nights a week. It has also provided other services including respite for young carers and providing shoes and clothes for disadvantaged families.

Now 37-year-old Paul has requested help from individuals and businesses, with the charity looking to go one step further by opening a community centre at Templar Parc on Eastmoors Road in Splott.

The facility will be called Boom-I-Am and will available to hire for childrens parties. All the money from these parties will go back into the community centre to provide services for the homeless and local residents.

Kids’ cooking lessons and bingo for the elderly

Apart from providing a safe base for their food distribution the centre will also host kids’ cooking lessons, bingo for the elderly and community fun days.

Paul said: “A lot of the old people in Splott can’t afford to pay for a bus to go to events and this gives them something closer.”

Explaining how he set up his charity, he added: “I was in town after finishing a gig and went into a shop to get a packet of cigarettes and a sandwich.

“There were two homeless guys outside and it was a miserable day. I sat and spoke to them for an hour and then went back to my unit to get them some blankets.”

Tradesmen are most needed

When not running his charity Paul is busy managing his own events business dressing weddings. The initial capital to secure the lease on the unit has come out of Paul’s own pocket and he says he is in desperate need of volunteers to help get the premises ready for action.

He particularly needs tradesmen and businesses to supply expertise to get it off the ground.

The problem of community provision and local services has been a big issue in Splott with a campaign currently under way to prevent any threatened closure of the nearby Cardiff Central Youth Club.

But the scale of the task has not affected Paul and his boundless energy.

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