Support high for Bunbury Sleep Out

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Apex Bunbury Sleep Out organisers Amber Calleja, front, Emily McKelvie and Sasha Nicholls sort out the generous donations at the weekend.
Camera IconApex Bunbury Sleep Out organisers Amber Calleja, front, Emily McKelvie and Sasha Nicholls sort out the generous donations at the weekend. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

Attitudes towards people sleeping rough to raise awareness and money for Bunbury’s homeless community are changing, according to event organisers.

More than 40 people braved wintry conditions on Saturday night for the 2019 Apex Bunbury Sleep Out under the Graham Bricknell Memorial Music Shell.

In its third year, the sleep out aims to raise money and gather non-perishable items for service providers and homeless people.

Event chairwoman Sasha Nicholls said the event was a success and it was growing and improving each year.

“The attitudes of people towards the event are growing a lot more positive,” Ms Nicholls said.

“The first year we copped a lot of negative feedback in the fact that we’re even having the event, last year was a little bit on the border and this year everything has just been positive.”

The event is held at the music shell, which has been a known hotspot for the homeless to sleep.

The location also influenced Bunbury City Council’s decision to construct a homeless shelter behind the music shell with the new facility being well utilised.

The weekend’s event raised more than $4000 in cash and an estimated $2000 worth of non-perishable donations.

The major beneficiaries of this year’s event were South West Women’s Refuge, Horizon House and Bunbury Soup Van. Ms Nicholls said the support from the community along with the donations was amazing.

“All the physical donations we’ve donated already, we did that on Sunday morning straight after the event,” she said.

“It’s amazing, it’s really overwhelming, there were a lot of businesses that actually just brought stuff to us that they must’ve just put a little box in their office and had done a bit of a collection.

“Thank you to the committee that helped me put this event together and thank you to everyone that participated or made a donation.”

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