The Vinnies Night Patrol van will be at this weekend’s Handmade Market to collect donations of blankets, sleeping bags and warm clothing.

The Night Patrol vans operate 364 nights a year, providing material aid and light refreshment to people in need. Importantly, the Night Patrol volunteers also engage with people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, and provide human interaction and compassion along with information and referrals to other services.

John* regularly visits the Night Patrol van when it stops at Garema Place and has received blankets, beanies, socks, toiletries and sandwiches.

He likes to come down for the extra support, but also to “grab a hot drink and be with people.”

“I really appreciate the material support. They (the Night Patrol team) have helped me to stay off the street,” said John.

“For some people, assistance with food or warm items makes the difference  of actually being able to pay rent,” said Natalie Wright who has volunteered with the Night Patrol for over 12 years and was last year’s ACT Volunteer of the Year.

For Ann*, who has been sleeping rough for a few months, the Night Patrol provides general necessities, a daily meal and some non-judgmental help. She comes to the van every time it is in Queanbeyan.

To continue to help those who need it most, Vinnies Night Patrol relies on donations of warm items from the community.

“Canberrans are very generous, and we have always received lots of blankets and warm clothes to share with the people who access our van. In 2017, with the support of Canberra Toyota, we were able to put another van on the road, which means we’ve been able to assist more people – but also means we now need more blankets,” said Erin MacArthur, Director of Community Engagement with the St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn.

Please donate blankets to Vinnies Night Patrol at the Handmade Market

10am – 4pm, 29 & 30 June 2019, Budawang Building, Exhibition Park

Financial donations can be made via www.vinnies.org.au/winterappeal

*Names have been changed to protect privacy

26 June 2019