A man who built a homeless shelter for a couple sleeping rough at Christmas also helped them reunite with family.
Mark Burgess, from Llanrumney in Cardiff, spent £350 making a wooden shelter designed to be a temporary home for people living on the street.
The shelter is on wheels and can be moved around and comes with a fire alarm, light, insulation, ventilation and a lock.
On Christmas Eve Mark went into Cardiff city centre looking for someone he could give the shelter to, where he met a couple known as Sion, who is 34 and originally from Swansea, and Sherrie, 28.
They were sleeping rough with their dog, Taff.
Mark, 35, said: ‘I walked around Cardiff on Christmas Eve and when I got to St Mary Street I saw a couple with a dog. I talked to them for a while and even though I had built it for one person they seemed keen so I took the guy to see it.
‘He had promised her they would be off the street by next Christmas,’ Mark explained. ‘He was really happy about the shelter.’
After we reported the story, Mark was contacted by Sion’s sister who said their mum wanted to come to Cardiff to look for him.
‘I told her a few places he had been spotted, saying it really wouldn’t be difficult to spot them,’ said Mark. ‘Since then Sion’s mother came down to Cardiff, and has taken them back to Swansea.’
Mark was also informed that Sion has three children who are being looked after by his mum – and all of them have been reunited and are now living together in a caravan owned by Sion’s mother.
‘I couldn’t believe it,’ said Mark. ‘It was so nice to update everyone who had shown an interest in the story to let them know that Sion is back with his family with a roof over their head.’
Mark, who owns a repairs and recoat company for architectural metal, said he decided to build the cabin following the recent cold nights in a bid to help those on the street stay dry and warmer as temperatures fall.
He had set up a donation page online to raise £400 to build another shelter, but the total of that page now stands at over £3,300.
He said the incredible reaction means he now has bigger plans in store.
‘While I had such a positive reaction to the original cabin, some people pointed out that it could be a little dehumanising and some people said it looked like a coffin with wheels.
‘There’s a German architect who came up with the concept of a one square meter house.
‘It looks like an actual house and then when you put it on its back it’s the shape of a bed. I’m going to build a couple of those as my friend has offered me some space in his workshop.’