Whilst Peregrine traditionally supports a number of international projects through the Peregrine Community Trust, Peregrine's CEO Glenyce Johnson found a great opportunity to support a great local initiative.
On Thursday 17 June Glenyce was among some 600 taking part in 2010 St Vincent de Paul Society's Vinnies CEO Sleepout - an event that challenges business and community leaders to experience homelessness first-hand for one night. They will raise important money, and with fresh insight, go on to effect change in social opinions on this serious issue. At the last Census 104,700 Australians were counted as homeless (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006) with 50,256 Australian's on the street, every night. With the recent rise in unemployment and economic uncertainty the 'new face of homelessness' are families - people finding themselves in a place of disadvantage that they had never expected to be in. 2010 marked the first national staging of the event, with sleepouts happening in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne - where Glenyce took part.
Glenyce recalls her experience...
Why did you take part in the Sleepout?
I think awareness of the homelessness situation in Australia needs to be raised. Although we operate in a number of countries and have community programs set up in some of these countries it is important that we also stay connected to our local community and identify areas that we can help to improve upon here.
What did you get out of the experience?
The day after the sleepout it really struck me that although I was able to go home to a nice cooked meal and a warm comfortable bed to rejuvenate my energy, so many other Australians don't have that luxury. Another thought that remained in my mind as a result of taking part in the sleepout was the concept of loneliness. I can imagine that a transient life on the streets, could at times become unbearably lonely.
What would you like to happen as a result?
I'd like the issue of homelessness in Australia to become better understood and remain on the nation's agenda. There are a range of circumstances that can lead to Australian's being in this situation and there are also ways to get involved and help improve these people's lives such as volunteer at soup kitchens and donating goods to charity.
You can still donate...
All money raised goes directly towards the ongoing provision of Vinnies' homeless services across the country. If you would like to help you can sponsor Glenyce here or of course, donate directly to St Vincent de Paul, the lines are open until the end of July, thank you in advence for your support. For more information about the Vinnies please visit www.vinnies.org.au.