Hunt & Hunt was pleased to field a team of 6 lawyers from our Sydney office, who participated in this year’s Vinnies Community Sleepout in support of the Bathurst community and our longstanding client, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW.
On Friday 23 October 2020, Hasti Kalarostaghi (Partner, Environment & Planning), Daniel Murray (Special Counsel, Property), Jessica Baldwin (Senior Associate, Environment & Planning), Nicholas Sharman (Associate, Property), Daniel Weissel (Lawyer, Property) and George Mourani (Lawyer, Litigation) spent a night sleeping rough in backyards, courtyards, basements, living rooms and paddocks to raise funds and awareness of the various issues surrounding homelessness and disadvantage in our community, not just in metropolitan areas, but also across regional NSW.
This year Hunt & Hunt particularly decided to focus our efforts to raise funds for the Bathurst community, in supporting John Therry House. John Therry House is a new homeless persons and women’s refuge in Kelso and will be operated by Vinnies. This will provide essential support for those in need and seeking assistance in the Bathurst region.
The event was accompanied by a livestream telecast hosted by TV and radio personality, Deborah Knight, which involved interviews with a number of Vinnies volunteers and people who have been supported by Vinnies across the State.
For Daniel Murray, the Sleepout really highlighted the importance of the vital grassroots works that Vinnies does throughout the community. “Particularly in light of the struggles that 2020 has posed, the interviews hit home that support from Vinnies is not a question of providing a “handout”, but rather, a “hand-up”, for those who are vulnerable or in need. Those seeking help face no judgement from the team of Vinnies volunteers, and are treated with care and compassion as Vinnies try to make a difference help those facing disadvantage. ”
The Sleepout gave Jessica Baldwin the opportunity to reflect on the challenges faced by those sleeping rough. “While I may not have roughed it as much as others participating in this year’s CEO sleepout, whilst sleeping in a tent under the stars (or more clouds) I thought about the many people in our community sleeping rough, sometimes in tents in public spaces, and the lack of access to toilets and basic hygiene needs. For women especially, I thought about the safety aspect and also the isolation when family and support networks breakdown. I hope that the funds raised this year will mean increased access to safety, shelter, and services for all in the community.”
At the time of writing, the Sleepout for the Bathurst Community has raised $11,906.05, exceeding its target of $10,000.00. Across the state, $140,678.32 has been raised to date, over and above the initial goal of $140,000.00 to help Vinnies continue providing a helping hand across the state.
The Hunt & Hunt team has been overwhelmed with the generosity and support that we have received from our colleagues, family, friends, and broader community, and we are extremely grateful for the funds donated to such an important cause in a year when many have faced homelessness for the first time.