The 10/11s children and staff experienced what it is like to have no home and no bed to sleep in. How do you keep warm? How do you stay dry? They faced these issues in an attempt to understand what it is like to be homeless, at the same time raising valuable funds for St Vincent de Paul Society through their Vinnies Schools Sleepout project. Some children built elaborate shelters covering stairs with plastic to create a roof and taping cardboard walls together; others slept on cardboard on the concrete next to walls under the semi protection of eaves; boxes were snuggled into – and it was discovered they were surprisingly warm!; and tarpaulins were used to cover 4 or 5 children lined up in a row of sleeping bags sharing body warmth. A campfire for roasting marshmallows added to the fun and, despite a downpour just as everyone went to bed, 20 children still managed to brave the outdoors all night.
Teachers Deb, Jared and Kate were impressed with the spirit and resilience of the children saying, “They were amazing, and so well behaved”. Although the children had very little sleep, the experience has had a huge impact. Homelessness affects over 100,000 Australians, a quarter of whom are under the age of 18. Our students raised an amazing $1365 to help the cause of breaking this cycle.