sleeping rough a humbling experience for Bek Wall - July 2012

Mark Spring July 11, 2012 : 0

While most Aucklanders were sheltered in their warm homes during the recent deluge on the night of Thursday June 28, it was only a cardboard box and a piece of tarpaulin that shielded dtr’s marketing projects manager Bek Wall from the wintery elements.

The Lifewise Big Sleepout challenges influential Kiwis to raise funds and awareness in order to end homelessness on Auckland streets by 2020. The annual charity drive has a no-holds-barred approach to exposing this often invisible issue.

Bek said she was able to see the fantastic work that the Lifewise team do and meet firsthand people who had been helped by the Auckland-based community organisation, and those who worked for the charity.

Bek spent the night, sleeping rough in a secure, but largely exposed area in Auckland’s CBD, from 6.30pm until 8am the following morning.The Lifewise team deliver on-the-ground, practical support for those in need, not only providing food but also showers, assisting them with applying for social welfare benefits, finding accommodation and where possible, employment opportunities. They also lend a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen to.

The biggest challenge of the sleepover for her was the freezing cold temperatures and lying on hard concrete. Bek said that once she got warm, it was OK, but it took about two hours in her sleeping bag before her feet thawed out. To give you an idea of just how cold it was, Bek wore three pairs of socks, (and two of them were ski socks!).

Bek’s so grateful for all the people who sponsored her, raising nearly double the amount of her target goal, to collect a grand total of $1,846.70.But the less than salubrious lodgings hasn’t put Bek off doing it all again next year, saying she definitely wants to be involved if she’s invited to take part.

She also feels fortunate for the everyday things in life that most of us take for granted and is now collecting up unwanted household furniture, bedding and equipment to donate to The Lifewise Hub.This is the second time dtr has been involved with the Lifewise Big Sleepout and certainly won’t be the last. We are all very proud of Bek, and I know all too well (from last year’s experience) it’s not easy!“It really does make you realise how lucky you are to simply have a roof over your head, warm clothes, bedding and enough food to feed yourself and your family.”
- Bek Wall


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