BCS Chatswood sleeps rough to raise money for domestic violence and youth homelessness

From 7:00 pm until 7:00 am last Friday, the Body Corporate Services (BCS) Chatswood team joined their second Chatswood Sleeps Rough event to raise money for those experiencing domestic violence and youth homelessness.

This year, however, things looked a little different. As with most events during 2020, COVID-19 meant those giving up their comfy beds for the evening were participating in a virtual fundraiser. But this didn’t mean our teams were in the lap of luxury, from lounge rooms to backyards and kitchens, those supporting the annual event did so by sleeping rough in their own home.

According to Sarah Hogg, BCS Chatswood’s Branch Manager, the event is about participating in something that makes a real difference. “The Chatswood Sleeps Rough fundraiser is one we get behind because it allows people to gain some insight and see the value in charitable organisations like StreetWork and The Salvation Army.

“I think for those of us who work in strata, supporting individuals experiencing domestic violence or youth homelessness is particularly important because it’s about the home. Our job, day in and day out, is to try and make people’s home a better and safer place to be. By participating in this fundraiser, we know our efforts of trying to enhance community living and people’s homes are directly helping those who need it most,” said Sarah.

Chatswood Sleeps Rough is an annual event organised by The Chatswood Chamber of Commerce and Westfield to support The Salvation Army and StreetWork. While most people recognise and know the incredible work The Salvation Army does, few recognise StreetWork. Celebrating their 40th anniversary, SteetWork is a non-denominational community organisation that supports at-risk young people experiencing homelessness, mental health issues, destructive relationships and who are becoming disengaged from school.

Domestic violence and youth homelessness are, of course, directly related. Domestic and family violence in Australia impacts 1.5 million women, 528,800 men, and impacts more than 1 million Australian children. Around 37% of people seeking help from specialist homelessness services in 2018-19 were experiencing domestic and family violence.

The BCS Chatswood team are touched by every person who donated to their fundraiser page. According to Sarah, the events of 2020 made the donations that were made even more special. “It’s been a really tough year for many people, so we are appreciative of every single donation. Every dollar counts. Plus, I’m proud of my team too, it’s so great to see our Chatswood branch getting together to support such a fantastic cause” said Sarah.



Originally published on 14 September 2020