Braemer College students sleep out

With the uncertainty that the pandemic brought into the classroom, last year was another tough year for students. Braemar College Principal Russell Deer knew his students were facing their own challenges, but he also knew that there were many other Victorians experiencing a hard year and some were experiencing homelessness for the first time.

Once students could be back on the school premises, Russell galvanised the students, together with Ros Shipp (Head of Braemar College Middle School), to hold a Vinnies Community Sleepout to raise funds.

Middle school students attended the sleepout along with several older students and they turned their onsite van in to their own ‘Soup Van’ serving students soup and a bread roll.

Students were engaged with activities focused on the real cost of living with questions raised by these young people who wanted to build their awareness and know how else they could assist people experiencing homelessness.

“The sleepout became a support thing for us and became a focal point for us,” said Russell.

The students discussed how complex homelessness is and that they were highly aware of the hidden homelessness which is more prevalent in their local area. Russell mentioned how the complexity of homelessness and poverty makes it hard for young people to process, so they need practical actions and experiences like volunteering and taking part in awareness activities like the sleepout that also raises money.

Through the Vinnies Community Sleepout, Braemar College students raised an amazing $9,513! This equates to more than 300 food hampers with each hamper providing  three days’ worth of meals.