Fred’s Place can help out more homeless thanks to sleepout

At Vinnies sleepout for Fred’s Place, former long-term homeless client of the centre, Phil, speaks to staff member Anthony Moerman. Photo supplied

Vinnies 2018 sleepout to help fund Fred’s Place homeless drop-in centre in Tweed Heads has exceeded its target, thanks to support from some 50 sleepers last Thursday (August 30) and donations from a wide range of local clubs, businesses and individuals.

In total around $60,000 has been raised to support a vital service that receives no government funding.

High-profile sleepers included Tweed deputy mayor Reece Byrnes, who was a leading fundraiser, Tweed MP Geoff Provest, students from Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School and a formerly long-term homeless man, Phil.

Phil spoke of his experiences living rough and the valuable help provided by Fred’s Place, leaving the audience deeply touched.

Mr Provest, who has volunteered at Vinnies Matthew Talbot hostel for homeless people in Sydney, said in the past he could not look a homeless person in the eye and did everything to avoid contact. Now he does whatever he can to engage with them and to listen to their story, saying that lending an ear can make a big difference.

The Ken & Jane Grace Foundation donated $5,000, with SAE Group installing a $5,000 solar system at the service.

Tweed’s Seagulls Club, who are annual event sponsors, raised an extra $3,000 from members during August’s ‘Homelessness Month’.

Tax-deductible donations can still be made at


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers.