Left behind bedding from Leeds Festival to be given to homeless

Thousands of pounds worth of possessions left behind by Leeds Festival revellers will be handed out to charities and homeless people in the city.
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Tents, blankets, bedding and camping equipment will be redistributed to those who need it, with rising energy bills likely to leave more people freezing cold this coming winter.

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An army of volunteers went to the festival site, at Bramham Park, on Monday, to salvage much of what had been left behind.

Some of the bedding collected from the Leeds Festival,.Some of the bedding collected from the Leeds Festival,.
Some of the bedding collected from the Leeds Festival,.
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Jed Aitchison runs the Library of Things in Headingley, a not-for-profit organisation which loans household items out to people unable to buy them. He helped lead a large group onto the site for the clean-up at the end of the bank holiday weekend.

Mr Aitchison, 28, said some of the items recovered would be sold to raise funds for the centre, while others will be donated to homeless charities and foodbanks.

He also said the blankets and bedding would “keep many people warm this year”.

“None of this stuff would have gone to a better place, if it hadn’t been picked up,” Mr Aitchison added.

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“It would have gone to landfill. So it would have been obtuse to let it all go to waste.

“Who isn’t going to need or want extra heating and extra insulation this winter? Everyone is going to need help.”

Mr Aitchison, 28, hit out at festival-goers for leaving the items behind, saying they were more bothered about “getting home for a sleep and a cup of tea” than “caring for the planet”.

But he laid the blame for the waste with Festival organisers, rather than the punters, for not providing amnesty boxes or drop-off points for unwanted items to be left.

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Festival Republic, which runs the event, has been contacted for a response.

Local Labour councillor Izaak Wilson, who represents Leeds’ Weetwood ward, joined Mr Aitchison in retrieving what festival-goers had left behind.

He said the bedding would have a huge impact, with the cost-of-living crisis and rising energy bills set to bite.

Councillor Wilson said: “Already as councillors we’re getting more and more correspondence from people desperately wanting help, with regards to financial support and grants.

“We can’t solve this problem locally, but we can help with the symptoms of it.

“Handing out sleeping bags, duvets, blankets and throws to people who are homeless will make a massive difference.”

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