Rugged up and with a cardboard box as a shelter, Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) CEO Lesley Dwyer spent the night outside the Royal Adelaide Hospital to help raise more than $20,000 for the Vinnie’s CEO Sleepout.
Joining with the sleepout and fundraising efforts on Thursday night, were Julie Hartley-Jones, Group Executive Director, Statewide Clinical Support Services and Southern Adelaide Local Health Network CEO, Susan O’Neill.
When asked about her experience, Lesley said while there were a few issues that she did not factor in; she was still in a more fortunate position compared to those who have no choice.
“Despite the wonderful company I had throughout the evening, it was not an easy experience – and I am feeling both very tired and sore today and have struggled to warm up despite having my dogs Agatha and Derrick by my side,” Lesley said.
“I am mindful that I only had to do it for one night, whereas other people sleep rough for many more and in far more challenging environments.”
Lesley decided to take part in the CEO Sleepout due to the overwhelming support CALHN received from the community during COVID-19.
“Every night, thousands of South Australians experience homelessness, some of whom did not expect to be in a situation as such due to the devastating impacts of COVID.”
“The core of our CALHN organisation’s values is ‘putting people first’. After being overwhelmed by an outpouring of support from the community during the COVID-19 response, it’s our turn to give back.”
The funds raised here in South Australia will accommodate people experiencing homelessness at Vinnies SA crisis centres, provides food and fellowship at Fred’s Van meal services, and offer support and advocacy through various programs.
While the event has concluded, there is still opportunity to donate: https://bit.ly/3f9Jk4b.