Welsh News: Magic bus for the homeless of Newport

Sleeping space for twelve: Built after a year of fundraising. CREDIT: Ian Smith

A CONVERTED double-decker bus will soon arrive on the streets of Newport to offer the homeless a temporary place to sleep.

The bus has been kitted out to allow sleeping space for 12 people, two showers, two toilets, a kitchen and a lounge area.

It was built by volunteers from the Helping Open People’s Eyes (HOPE) group using funds collected over more than a year of relentless fundraising.

The HOPE bus is now close to completion and volunteers are confident it will be on the road as a mobile shelter for street sleepers within the next few weeks.

The idea for the shelter came to self-employed bus driver Ian Smith and his wife Tammy from Cefn Fforest, Blackwood after they visited a similar project in Bristol last year.

“I first saw Jasper Thompson and his ‘Bristol Home for the Night’ campaign. He had a bus there which was converted. I saw his project and I thought what a wonderful thing so I thought we should start fundraising for it.”

He began raising money for his project in October last year and as his organisation is not a registered charity the majority of funds were raised through raffles and donations.


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Damon Mitchell

From the interviewed to the interviewer

As frontman of a rock band Damon used to court the British press, now he lives the quiet life in Spain and seeks to get to the heart of the community, scoring exclusive interviews with ex-pats about their successes and struggles during their new life in the sun.

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