The Two Saints Outreach worker Richard Cottle contacted Meryl this week to ask for a tent for two of the rough sleepers after someone set some tents alight at about 12pm on Wednesday in the campsite by the football club
One of the tents was occupied at the time by a lady who had her headphones in. The heat in the tent alerted her to the fire and thankfully she was able to escape unhurt. One tent in particular it seems was targeted, the other tents were damaged as a result.
There were gas canisters in one of the tents also so it is very fortunate that no one was hurt. As with any situation, there are lots of ideas as to who may have done it. We do not understand why people would act in that way. The lady who was in her tent at the time is very shaken by the incident and feels very unsettled and unsafe now.
This act of vandalism was done in daylight and at a time when the camp was known to be quiet. Recently volunteers have worked in their own time to go to Reading festival to pick up tents and sleeping bags for the local rough sleepers. Local members of the public have donated items in order to support the people in need and the Soup Kitchen. This act of violence undermines those acts of kindness and has put lives at risk. It highlights the vulnerability of people who live in tents, this is why they need our community support.