Winter sleepout aims to help the homeless

BRIGHTON Girl Guides and Old Beach Scouts have decided to sleep rough to raise awareness of the plight of Australia’s 100,000 homeless people.

Girl Guide Leader Fiona Hardman of Gagebrook said a winter sleepout was planned for Saturday, August 7 at Pontville as part of National Homeless Persons’ Week and just as Brighton Community News was being distributed.

• Girl Guide Leader Fiona Hardman and her nine-year-old daughter Emily prepare to sleep out during National Homeless Persons’ Week.
• Girl Guide Leader Fiona Hardman and her nine-year-old daughter Emily prepare to sleep out during National Homeless Persons’ Week.

“Winter is the hardest time of year for homeless people,” Ms Hardman said.

“We are hoping to raise community awareness of the problems faced by homeless people, as well as raising money for Mission Australia.

“This is a great opportunity to be able to appreciate what we have, understand what others don’t have and make a real difference.”

Federal, State and local politicians, members of the Scout and Guide hierarchy, local businesses, schools, churches and community groups have been asked to participate in the event in a range of ways, from donating food to providing sponsorship for those who have agreed to sleep out.

“The Girl Guides and Scouts will construct makeshift cardboard shelters to protect them from the elements, dine on soup and sandwiches, listen to a guest speaker from Mission Australia and share songs around a campfire before bedding down in their shelters,” Fiona said.

“In the morning there will be an opportunity to reflect on the experience and on the plight of those who are homeless.”

If you would like to support the efforts of the Girl Guides and Scouts by making a donation, please call Fiona Hardman on 0408 506 805.

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