Change starts in Geelong at Vinnies Community Sleepout

July 24, 2022 BY

Barwon Water board chair Jo Plummer is an ambassador for the Geelong Community Sleepout. Photos: SUPPLIED

A COLD sleepout next month will help raise essential funds for the work of the St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria (Vinnies Victoria), and everyone in the Geelong region is invited to take part.

The Geelong Community Sleepout will return to its in-person format on August 19 and see participants spend the night outside with just a sleeping bag and a pillow to better appreciate the issues of homelessness.

This year’s theme is “Change starts here”.

“Our volunteers know that change can begin with just knock at their door, a nutritious meal, simply being prepared to listen to someone’s story – or with a single night of sleeping out in the cold,” a Vinnies spokesperson said.

The money raised will help Vinnies volunteers to keep a roof overhead, put food on the table and keep the lights on for many people in the Geelong area.

In the two financial years from 2019-21, local volunteers provided almost $800,000 worth of assistance to vulnerable individuals and families in and around the Geelong region.

Barwon Water board chair and Geelong Community Sleepout ambassador Jo Plummer will MC the event this year.

“I am thrilled to be involved in the Geelong Community Sleepout,” Ms Plummer said.

“You don’t need to look too hard around our beautiful city and the region to see that housing is a real issue.

“I was shocked to read City of Greater Geelong statistics showing around 4,500 people accessing homelessness services each year in Geelong.

“The great thing about an event such as the Vinnies Geelong Community Sleepout is that it not only brings the community together for one uncomfortable night – every cent raised in Geelong will stay in Geelong to provide people with the basic things they need to survive, such as food, school fees, transport, clothing, furniture, and more.

“As a community-centred organisation, this is a big part of Vinnies’ mission.”

The 2022 Geelong Community Sleepout will be held in the John Hay Courtyard Deakin University’s Waterfront Campus.

“We are so excited to welcome the entire Geelong community to this important Vinnies event at our Waterfront campus,” Deakin University chief advancement officer Jimmy Buck, who will be sleeping out on the night, said.

“The local Vinnies volunteers do incredible work in the community and we are very proud to play our part.”

The sleepout will run from 6pm on August 19 to 7am on August 20.

To register, head to fundraiseforvinniesvic.org.au/geelongcommunitysleepout