A RUGBY fan faced the elements on Sunday to raise money and awareness about homelessness. 

Tom Murray, 20, who lives in Station Road, Cam, is a massive Gloucester Rugby fan and slept rough on cardboard in Kingsholm Stadium with temperatures reaching 7 degrees. 

He was joined by other fundraisers in the stadium, whilst others slept rough across the city outside churches, schools, and Eastgate Shopping Centre.

“There was so much going through my head all night,” Tom said, who works at B&Q in Stroud and at a warehouse in Thornbury.

“It was pretty cold to say the least.

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“It must be just so unbearable and demoralising to sleep like this in the snow or ice. 

“Tragically we know all too well that the cold kills and people do die on the streets. 

“We’re all potentially only one payslip away from the street becoming where you live.”

Gloucester City Mission is a homeless charity, and its event, The Big City Sleepout, encourages people to spend one night sleeping rough.

The event marks World Homeless Day with money raised going towards running the charity’s winter shelter this year.

It means a lot to Tom because he has several friends who have previously been forced to sleep on the streets.

Gazette Series: Tom (middle) with other fundraisers in Kingsholm Stadium where temperatures reached 7 degrees. Tom (middle) with other fundraisers in Kingsholm Stadium where temperatures reached 7 degrees.  (Image: Newsquest)

He said: “I tried to make it as realistic as possible by using my rolled up rain coat as a pillow which was uncomfortable but it ended up not being too bad.”

“I had to be careful where I slept as there was a risk of me falling down the steps of the stadium so that was an experience in itself. 

“Although the temperature for the night was substantially lower than I was expecting. 

Gazette Series: Tom's sleeping bag in Kingsholm StadiumTom's sleeping bag in Kingsholm Stadium (Image: Newsquest)

“It hovered around 10 degrees earlier on in the night, but in the early hours went right down to 7 degrees. 

“The most harrowing part of the night was when we were introduced to a couple of the representatives from Gloucester City Mission. 

"They told us about some of the work and aid they provide and it really put things into perspective."

Gloucester City Mission is a registered charity that has been supporting the homeless and vulnerable in and around Gloucester since 2003.

They also help those living in temporary accommodation and those in need of support with clothing, toiletries, food or advice.

So far Tom raised £400 for the charity. 

You can donate to Tom's justgiving page here - bit.ly/3ywyOQK