Dan Feeny’s idea of a summer break before university is a week behind bars.
The student is spending seven days and seven nights in a cage in sympathy with the victims of human trafficking.
Dan, 20, locked himself away with only his Bible in the grounds of Fulwood Free Methodist Church to highlight the plight of desperate people forced into modern day slavery around the world.
“It isn’t just in the Mediterranean where hundreds of thousands of refugees are at the mercy of people traffickers,” he said.
“It is here in Britain, all around us. Only a few weeks ago the police arrested some men in Preston on suspicion of people trafficking. It is a local issue as much as an international one.
“I just wanted to get the conversation going here – to shine a light on the problem locally. And sitting in a cage for a week seemed a good way of getting that message across.”
Former Newman College student Dan, who lives nearby in Rowangate, Fulwood, admits living in a cage – with only a small tent for shelter – is not the most comfortable place on earth. He is also surviving off one meal a day.
“I’m sleeping on the floor, which isn’t easy,” he said. “But I keep telling myself that it is a good cause and that seems to be getting me through so far.
“I’ve also had a steady stream of people coming to keep me company. They’ve been great, but I can’t expect them to be here all the time.
“It is those periods when I’m on my own that I know the boredom will creep in. That’s the biggest challenge. But I’ve got my Bible to read, which will keep me going.
“I went to Rwanda with the church last year and we visited the genocide museum there. It broke my heart. When I came back I did some research on things like human trafficking and I felt it was something we all need to draw attention to.
“The church has been very supportive of me doing this and their help and prayers are keeping me focused. I’m also handing out leaflets to anyone who might be passing by and wants to come and have a chat and pass some time. I’m not trying to force a charity on people. But if people are moved to give there are some worthwhile causes on therewhich would appreciate help.”