Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times
Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times Renee Pilcher

Brave bosses rug up for Mary St sleepout

GYMPIE Times' editor Craig Warhurst, NAB manager Sally Burton and teams from other Gympie businesses and organisations will sleep under the stars, on the hard, cold pavement of Mary St on Friday night to raise money for the homeless.

More than 100,000 Australians find themselves homeless each night of the year, including up to 62,000 families.

Just under half of these are women and a quarter are under the age of 18.

The Gympie region has its own homeless.

Community Action Sleepout 2014 aims to introduce people to what it is really like to sleep rough. It also aims to raise funds to help homeless people in the region.

Participants will be seeking donations this week to support the work of Community Action in reducing homelessness, so everyone is encouraged to give generously.

Anybody who wants to help but cannot do the sleepout can still collect donations.

Those with the daring and fortitude to take on the challenge, such as Craig, Sally and NAB advisor Jonathon Urlich will need to make sure they are rugged up.

Participants are directed to take their own sleeping bag and a pillow, but cardboard will be supplied.

A basic meal and tea and coffee will be served on the night. Breakfast will also be provided in the morning. Alcohol is strictly off limits.

Regardless of the weather, the event will go ahead because that is the reality of sleeping rough.

Homelessness causes devastating personal harm, significantly impacts on the community and costs our economy.

It is an issue that is not going away on its own, and as a society we can't afford to ignore it.

What is homelessness?

People often have a stereo typical view of what homelessness is, but it can affect people from all walks of life, including families.

Home is the anchor for everything else in your life, but many families are living one payday away from homelessness.

All it takes is for an unexpected event such as job loss or illness to put their homes at risk.

"We were blown away by the support from the Gympie community last year and we are hoping that this year's event will be even bigger and better," Community Action support worker Emma Verkerk said this week.

"Last year we raised over $16,000.

"Some of this money was used to purchase swags for people who are homeless.

"Our hope for the future is to build on these funds towards acquiring an emergency shelter in Gympie.

"We've had great support for this event from community organisations and clubs.

"Victory Care Services will supply a sausage sizzle and the Salvation Army will be providing tea, coffee and cuppa soups throughout the night.

"The APEX club will arrive in the early morning to cook breakfast.

"We are inviting everyone to join in by getting sponsorship and giving up their time for this important cause.

"How about getting a work or social group together?

"Last year there was a lot of fun had by people who participated in groups.

"The Bank of Queensland crew came in their onesies and the leadership team from Cooloola Christian College participated to show their support for the underprivileged in the Gympie community."


 WHEN: This Friday, August 8, 9pm.

 WHERE: Mary St Centre Stage, Gympie.

 CONTACT: Kelly or Shelley at Community Action on 5482 8959 or email

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