As an ex Bryn Estyn
resident myself. I as deeply saddened to read about another ex-resident- Ray Burton’s situation. It got me thinking. Discussions with others have led to this plea. Lets get Ray housed for Christmas. He won’t get any cash from this campaign just a bed, warmth, food and hopefully some company. He’ll also discover there’s people out there who actually care enough to donate a couple of pounds. This should raise his confidence. Ray is one of thousands of homeless. We can’t help them all. But we can get this man out of his cave for Christmas. Ideally I’d like to put a few in his place but that’s another story. Go on then, just click and donate. Imagine his face when he finds out because he doesn’t know yet.
Ray Burton grew up in the South Wales Valleys and things started going very wrong in his life when he was put into care at the age of 13. Ray (52) will spend Christmas in a cave – because he has nowhere else to live. He spent a period of time at the now notorious BRYN ESTYN children’s care home in Wrexham, where he says he was abused. “I had a very rough childhood but before I was put in care, I got into nature and even had a pet fox,”
Ray Burton moved into his makeshift home on Llandudno’s Great Orme
limestone headland because he has nowhere else to live
Cave dweller: Homeless man Ray Burton in his makeshift home “I think it’s this love for the outdoors which makes life in the cave endurable.”
Cold and damp: Ray Burton and his tent inside the cave Ray Burton moved into his makeshift home on Llandudno’s Great Orme limestone headland after he was told to leave his flat.A year ago the future had looked brighter for the former builder as Hope Restored, a charity which helps the homeless in Llandudno, found him a flat.”I moved in on January 1 and lived there for four months.”I was secure, warm, had no debt and the place was lovely but I had invited a few friends from the streets one night and things got out of hand.”The landlord said it wasn’t to happen again, but my so-called friends wouldn’t leave me alone, and were constantly hanging around drinking outside and I was asked to leave.
Softly spoken, polite and articulate, Ray says he hit rock bottom again about a month ago, when all his possessions were burnt in the cave. Ray, who suffers from alcoholism, was left with nothing but the clothes on his back.”That was a very bad time, I’ve no idea who did it but I was left with nothing and had to start all over again.”Brenda came to the rescue, she clothed me and bought me another tent, sleeping bag and a little stove.”Living in the cave isn’t too bad. I’ve got my radio and have an amazing view, it’s also very peaceful.”But I do get very cold sometimes, and I’m asthmatic so living in there isn’t good for my chest as it’s damp.”I also get very dirty because of the dust on the walls and the mud.” Hard year: Ray Burton is hoping for better fortune in 2015
He added: “Christmas Day will just be like any other day for me. “I’ll be trying to keep warm and will be eating the food parcel Hope Restored will give me. “I hope 2015 will be a better year, I just hope I’ll get a flat as I am getting too old to be living on the streets.”
Ray Burton outside the cave in Llandudno
UPDATE WE HAVE JUST FOUND OUT RAY HAS BEEN GIVEN A FLAT, BUT NEEDS FURNITURE, FURNISHINGS AND FOOD