Newcastle Business Leaders To Take Part In Vinnies Ceo Sleepout

1 June 2020

Newcastle business and community leaders will brave the cold on Thursday 18 June as part of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout to raise valuable funds for Vinnies’ homelessness services.

Since launching in 2006, the Vinnies CEO Sleepout has been held in major cities to give participants an insight into the challenges faced by the 116,000 people currently without a safe and secure place to sleep in Australia.

In light of COVID-19, the face-to-face sleepout has adapted to a national, online event for its 15th anniversary. Participants will nominate to sleep in their cars, on their couch or outdoors in their backyard, while taking part in a live-stream hosted by television personality Dr Andrew Rochford.

“The onset of a global health crisis means people facing homelessness need support more than ever. I’ve seen the difference that Vinnies’ homelessness services make and the Vinnies CEO Sleepout is such an important fundraiser to make sure they can continue helping thousands of people every year,” Dr Rochford said.

Fifty CEOs took part in the Newcastle event last year, raising over $195,000 for local Vinnies services providing food, accommodation, healthcare and other individualised support for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Nationally, the 2019 Vinnies CEO Sleepout raised $7.9 million, bringing the total amount raised since 2006 to just under $60 million.

“We’ve been able to do so much to support people experiencing homelessness thanks to the generosity of everyone who has donated and taken part over the years,” said Vinnies NSW CEO Jack de Groot, who plans to bed down in a tent in his Sydney backyard.

“With the funds raised from last year’s event in Newcastle, we were able to support men and men with children at risk of homelessness at the Matthew Talbot Homeless Centre in Wickham. We were able to employ a property officer and a specialist mental health case worker to help people transition into the private rental market and have the support they need to get back on their feet.

“COVID-19 has changed the way we live our lives, but unfortunately poverty and homelessness remain depressingly relevant for a large portion of the population. I urge everyone to take part and donate at a time when it’s desperately needed,” Mr de Groot said.

Participants who have already signed up in Newcastle include ten-time sleeper Adam Boyle, CEO of Pegasus; Sharon Claydon, Federal Member for Newcastle; and Neil Hunt and a team of sleepers from McLanahan Corporation.

In addition to the funds raised from the Vinnies CEO Sleepout, the St Vincent de Paul Society has provided more than $2 million in financial assistance to 7,000 people throughout Newcastle and the Hunter Valley over the past year.

Business and community leaders can still register at www.ceosleepout.com and help to fundraise as individuals or teams. As in previous years, the Vinnies Community Sleepout will be held later in the year, open to all participants.

To donate, register or nominate a leader for the Vinnies CEO Sleepout, go to www.ceosleepout.org.au.

Media contact: media.nsw@vinnies.org.au | 0417 446 430