Six years is a long time to know about sleeping rough but Telstra Energy Executive Director Ben Burge says it’s all worth it when he participates in the St Vincent de Paul CEO Sleepout event on the 22 June.
“This year is my sixth year participating in the CEO Sleepout. It’s a unique opportunity to get socially conscious leaders together to talk about these issues.”
CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society Sue Cattermole says the event attracts about 250 CEOs, business and community leaders to the event, who all work to raise funds for the range of services ‘St Vinnies’ now provides.
“This year the funds raised from the CEO Sleepout will go to St Vincent De Paul Society’s face to face support services, most prominently the Vinnies Soup Vans.
“The Soup Van service is a stalwart community service in Victoria, which has been working silently and steadfastly for over 40 years to support the most vulnerable in our community.”
Providing more than 256,000 meals in the last year, the meals help to change the lives and prevent crisis for people in need. Today more than 725,000 Victorians are living below the poverty line – with 2.5 Million people affected nationally.
Working towards reaching a fundraising target of $700,000 for the Vinnies Soup Vans, Sue says it is just as important to build awareness in the community about the event and to remember what life’s all about.
“We want to give our participants a greater sense of understanding and awareness of what it’s like for people experiencing hardship. We want the event to encourage face-to-face conversations about what poverty looks like, and to inspire change”.