Bosch Australia team braves tough weather to eliminate homelessness on Melbourne streets

Last Thursday night, Bosch Australia hosted their sixth consecutive community sleep-out and awareness campaign aimed at encouraging employees to participate, volunteer, or donate funds to prevent homelessness.

As part of the campaign, over 60 Bosch employees, including Bosch Australia President, Gavin Smith, slept outside at the Clayton headquarters on a piece of cardboard to experience first-hand a cold Melbourne winter night sleeping rough.

To-date over $17,000 has been raised and will go directly to the St Vincent de Paul Society programs that support people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness.

Homelessness is a key community impact theme for Bosch Australia and its employees have raised over $130,000 for St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria over the past 6 years. More than 116,000 people sleep rough in Australia each night.

Bosch Australia President, Gavin Smith, has participated in seven CEO sleep-outs.

Bosch Australia offers all employees the opportunity to support organisations in need of help by donating eight hours of their working time each year to a worthy cause.

 Melbourne recently recorded the coldest start to winter since 1982. For Victorians sleeping rough, trying to stay warm during this winter poses extra challenges. “There is a strong link between sleeping rough and chronic health issues. Our main goal is to find housing for people and it’s tough because there is a shortage.” – Launch Housing outreach worker.

Temperatures in Clayton overnight can reach below 3 degrees Celsius at this time of year.

“Each year, more employees participate, donate or volunteer to be part of this campaign to raise awareness and funds for homelessness and I thank them for doing so,” Bosch Australia President, Gavin Smith said.

“Although I have now slept out at seven Vinnies CEO sleepouts and three company sleepouts at our Clayton facility, I still have no real concept of what it must be like to face this nightmare every day, let alone face it with a family. But I appreciate now more than ever why the paths to homelessness can be surprisingly short and how little has to go wrong for someone to find themselves in this predicament,” he said.

“Listening to stories of homelessness from those experiencing it and spending the night trying to sleep outdoors with a piece of cardbarod will change you. You will not be the same person in the morning. Your perspective will inevitabley be shifted, for the better.”

Vinnies Victoria CEO, Sue Cattermole said: “Vinnies Victoria is humbled by the leadership and support of the Bosch Australia team of the past six years. They have not only raised over $130,000 to sustain our volunteers’ work in alleviating poverting and homelessness, but have slept out to experience life without their creature comforts too.”

“Bosch Australia is a shining example of how businesses can form meangingful and impactufl relationships with charities – and better still, make community engagement and social justice a central part of their business model too. On behalf of our 12,000+ Vinnies volunteers in Victoria, I would like to personally thank Bosch Australia President, Gavin Smith, and his team for changing and improving so many lives,” she said.