Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Soup promotes sleepout


The Deniliquin Vinnies Community Sleepout will take place at the end of the month, raising money for locals experienci­ng and at the risk of homelessne­ss.

The event will be held on August 27 in Cressy St, and after the results of previous years another successful fundraiser is expected.

Vinnies event coordinato­r Tamara Sefton said it comes at an important time, given the tough conditions people are facing, heightened by the pandemic.

“Across Australia there are more than 116,000 people experienci­ng homelessne­ss, including right here in our community,” Ms Sefton said.

“There is a demand for social housing in Deniliquin with 27 applicants listed on the NSW social housing waitlist.

“Due to the current COVID situation a lot of people are facing financial hardship and turning to Vinnies for assistance, many of whom have never sought help previously from charities.’’

And the key goal is bring this understand­ing to the wider community.

“As part of the sleepout we’ll be highlighti­ng these issues and other factors that lead to homelessne­ss,’’ Ms Sefton said.

Along with awareness, funds from the sleepout will directly benefit the local community, going towards assisting Vinnies St Michael’s Conference in Deniliquin, which supports people experienci­ng hardship with food, financial aid and clothing.

The organisati­on is now actively encouragin­g locals to get involved as the event draws near.

This week Vinnies staff have been running a recruitmen­t drive in their pyjamas to encourage people and businesses to sign up and donate to the sleepout.

A gold coin soup kitchen was held yesterday between 10am and 2pm at the Cressy St kiosk, with a range of winter clothing available for purchase supporting the cause.

‘‘We have had a few more people sign up this week as a result of the recruitmen­t drive and we are very excited to sign up lots more local individual­s and businesses during the week and at the soup kitchen,’’ Ms Sefton said.

‘‘Here (at the soup kitchen) we will be promoting the sleepout, taking donations towards it and will have someone there to help any keen participan­ts to sign up.

And you can help even if you don’t plan to sleep overnight, says Ms Sefton.

‘‘We would also like to remind everyone that they are welcome to come down on the night to support the event even if they don’t want to sleep-out, and encourage everyone to donate to this worthwhile local cause. Every dollar helps,’’ Ms Sefton said.

Local musician Eric Moore will be involved in the cause, taking on the feat in his own home and supporting the message.

‘‘Eric is really keen to participat­e in a virtual sense (sleep on his couch or in his backyard) and is very excited about the success of the past events in Deni,’’ Ms Sefton said.

Sleepout registrati­ons and donations are being taken at

 ??  ?? ■ Meg Fischer and Chantall Barnes from Vinnies at the soup kitchen in Cressy St.
■ Meg Fischer and Chantall Barnes from Vinnies at the soup kitchen in Cressy St.

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