Politicians, celebrities and business leaders sleep rough to raise money for homeless

Press Release – AUT University
Business leaders, politicians and celebrities swapped their home comforts for a concrete floor to raise awareness and money for Auckland’s homeless last night.

The 61 participants who slept rough in AUT University’s city campus have collectively raised $123,470 so far, with some individuals receiving donations close to $10k.

Organisers of the LIFEWISE Big Sleepout, now in its third year, would like to thank all those who generously donated.

The participants endured wind, rain and downright uncomfortable conditions in good humour for this important cause. Homelessness is not an issue isolated to a small section of society, anybody can have an unforeseen change of circumstances leaving them vulnerable – even the people who volunteered their time last night.

Vernon Sorenson, a LIFEWISE success story, had only one word to say to all those who took part – “thanks”. Vernon made a video story about his time being homeless and how LIFEWISE helped and supported him to get him off the streets. He was on hand to chat to participants about his experiences.

LIFEWISE General Manager, John McCarthy, says the total raised reflects the incredible efforts put in by the group. “We’ve seen some very competitive behaviour to raise funds this year surpassing previous years of total funds raised.

“I’d personally like to thank each and every one of the group for sticking it out and not heading home even though their cardboard mattress offered little padding from the cold and there was minimal protection from the rain.”

It is anticipated that the total will rise over the coming few days as participants talk about their ‘rough sleeping’ experience with family, friends and colleagues.

“As well as thanking the 61 individuals involved, I’d like to acknowledge the support of AUT University. Not only did they host the event in Hikuwai Plaza, but once again Vice Chancellor Derek McCormack was also one of the 61 brave people sleeping outside.”

Who took part:

Company / Organisation

Agnes Naera
Rotary Club of Auckland

Alex Swney
Heart of the City

Alin Ungureanu
Oceania Group

Ana Samways

Andrew Harris
Blackcat Consulting Ltd

Andrew L’Almont
Baptist Savings

Anya Merryfield
WE’AR Yogo Clothing & Street Wear

Good Morning TVNZ

Bek Wall

Bruce Stone
Airedale Property Trust

Chris Morrison
All Good Bananas

Claire Balfour
Mclsaac Caregiving Agency

Clr Cathy Casey
Auckland Council Councillor

David MacGregor
MacGregor Media

Debbie Turton
Vodafone New Zealand

Denise Roche
Green Party

Derek McCormack
AUT University

Eric Young
Prime News

Geoff Perry
Faculty of Business and Law AUT University

Gill Stewart
The Radio Bureau

Graeme Russell
Adage Business & Media Services

Hans Van de Stelt
ASB Bank Ltd

Helen Amituana’i
Mighty River Power

Ina Ivanova
Century Yuasa

Jacinda Ardern
Labour Party

Jack Hoult

Jane Hitchfield
The Radio Bureau

Jayson Bryant

Jesse Chalmers
Auckland Council Waitemata Local Board

Julian Smith
MYOB New Zealand

Lisa Traill

Marc Ellis

Marko den Breems
Jasmax Architects

Martyn Levy
2 degrees Mobile

Matai Smith
Good Morning TVNZ

Melina Schamroth

Michael Richardson

Michael Stanley
Vodafone New Zealand

Michael Stowers
Stowers Chartered Accountants

Mike Goss
2 degrees Mobile

Moana Mackey
Labour Party

Murray Sheard
The Kitchen

Neil Whittaker
Fuji Xerox NZ

Nick Jones

Pauline Stockhausen
Stockhausens (represented by Liz Quilty)

Penny Hulse
Auckland Council Deputy Mayor

Pete Hodkinson
New Zealand Union of Students Associations

Pippa Coom
Auckland Council Waitemata Local Board

Poto Williams
Waves Trust

Richard Hills
Auckland Council Kaipatiki Local Board

Rick Boven
Stakeholder Strategies Limited

Russell Little
Leadership New Zealand Trust

Sarah Ibbs
APPCO Group Support

Sarah Trotman
Faculty of Business and Law AUT University

Simon Bennett
The Madison Group

Simon Diprose
The Projection Link

Tony Falkenstein
Just Water International Limited

Tuhi Leef
Aotearoa Credit Union

Vaughn Davis
The Goat Farm Ltd

Vedran Babic
Fisher Funds Management

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