13.2 C
Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Virtual sleepout helps the needy in real life

Latest News

Tweed Council to write to government for more housing support

With a shortage of affordable housing in most areas of the Far North Coast, it is not surprising that Tweed is also feeling the pinch and Council has declared a housing emergency in the area owing to a lack of availability and affordability.

Other News

Bruns boarding house showdown Thursday

The stage is set for a crucial debate over the Brunswick Heads ‘Corso’ development in Byron Council this week, with staff recommending that the developer’s revised plans be approved.

Interview with Toni Childs

Internationally celebrated musician, Emmy winner and three times Grammy nominee Toni Childs is bringing her show to The Brunswick Picture House. With two acts, Childs is promising a special two hour performance as she celebrates her vast catalogue of music, which also saw her celebrate the 30th anniversary of her critically acclaimed album Union in 2019.

Coalition ‘hellbent’

Mat Morris, Bangalow The NSW coalition seems to be hellbent on outdoing their federal counterparts when it comes to the denigration...

Music photos

Jack Paten, Shellharbour Over the years I have collected various photos from the past of Australian Country Music history and am...

Death for koalas

Maria Paola Torti, Italy I’m Maria Paola Torti. I live in Italy, and I’m very concerned with the NSW coalition government’s...

Jack McCoy bringing surf show to Lennox

Legendary film maker Jack McCoy is bringing his acclaimed surf talk, film and live music event to the Lennox Head Cultural Centre on Saturday 8 May.

Julie West, Alicia and Craig McNiven with son Kobi, Fred’s Place staff members Megan Claeys, Alysia Hopkins and David Holmes, and volunteer Paul Varley. Photo supplied.

A date to put in your diary is 23 October – that’s the day that the sleepout for Vinnies Fred’s Place homeless service in Tweed Heads will be held.

Tweed Heads residents will join communities throughout the state in a series of linked-up NSW Vinnies Community Sleepouts on Friday 23 October. Thousands of supporters in regional NSW will bed down in their cars, backyards and couches to simulate the homeless experience and raise funds to support people experiencing homelessness.

Fred’s Place manager, Alysia Hopkins says previous sleepouts were a great success. ‘We greatly appreciate the support of Seagulls.’ The ABS survey of 2016 found around 450 people were homeless in Tweed Shire, half of them ‘primary homeless’, meaning sleeping rough. The numbers have increased since then.

Ms Hopkins said COVID-19 has placed extra pressure on those who rely on Fred’s Place, and in turn greater demands on services.’It’s more important than ever for

us to maximise our fundraising.

‘The virtual sleepout is a new way of doing things, and we hope to attract a lot of supporters who might not have been able to actually take a night off to sleep out.’

Local business adviser Julie West has supported Fred’s Place for several years and participated in past sleepouts. Ms West says that since realising the extent of the homeless

problem in Tweed, and the great work done by Fred’s Place, she has been committed to the service. ‘They serve hundreds of breakfasts and snacks each week, and provide so

much vital help to people doing it tough.’

The Tweed Heads event and 11 others around NSW will feature livestreams from participants sharing their experience. They follow the success of the virtual CEO Sleepout in June, which raised over $5.7 million to support Vinnies homelessness services.

Funds raised locally will be directed to Fred’s Place, which assists people experiencing hardship with food, medical assistance, bathroom and laundry facilities, free computer and phone access, housing support and referrals to essential services.

Vinnies NSW CEO Jack de Groot is urging regional communities to unite in a show of solidarity with locals experiencing or at risk of homelessness: ‘Between drought, bushfires and COVID-19 there are a lot of people unsure of when the tide will turn’ he said.

‘We know around 40 per cent of people sleeping rough in NSW live outside major cities, while people with children are seeking specialist homelessness support at higher rates in regional and rural areas. With the funds raised from the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout we’ll be able to continue assisting people doing it tough at a time when they need it most.’

People can register to take part and donate at: fundraise.vinniesnsw.org.au/joinnow.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Simon Richardson steps down as Byron Shire Mayor

In an eventful day for Byron Shire Council, pot-stirrer Fast Buck$ was ejected from the council chambers yesterday and later Cr Simon Richardson announced that he will be stepping down as mayor from the end of next week.

Pay parking for Lennox Head?

Yesterday's Ballina Shire Council meeting saw councillors raise the spectre of paid parking at Lennox Head, and possibly elsewhere in the shire.

They will not be forgotten…

In the wake of the pandemic restrictions, ANZAC Day will be commemorated in a COVID safe fashion and some areas will ask residents to...

East Ballina Lions desperately needs new members

East Ballina Lions Club has given over thirty years of service to numerous community programs and initiatives, but if it doesn't get more members soon, it will have to close.