MEDIA RELEASE – 12 May 2010

Old Bus Depot Market Director, Diane Hinds, and many market stallholders participating in this weekend’s A Celebration of Wool day are combining to raise money for homeless Canberrans.

Ms Hinds is taking part in the Canberra Vinnies CEO Sleepout, where business and community leaders will be sleeping rough on the night of 17 June in order to raise funds and awareness of homelessness. She joined the cause on 21 April and has so far raised $645.

“In Canberra, 65,000 people visited the Vinnies drop-in centre for food, clothing and friendly conversation last year,” said Ms Hinds.

“Personally, as a mother, the thought of someone else’s child sleeping rough on the streets is deeply troubling,” she continued.

This Sunday 16 May at the Markets is A Celebration of Wool day. As added support for the Canberra Vinnies CEO Sleepout, participating stallholders will be donating all things woolen and warm such as jumpers, beanies, hats, scarves, gloves and socks, to help keep the ‘homeless’ CEOs warm.

“I will wear a different beanie every hour during the sleepout. Everything will be given to Vinnies to distribute to Canberra’s homeless following the sleepout,” Ms Hinds said.

The stallholders’ contributed winter woolens will be officially donated to the Vinnies CEO Sleepout Coordinator, Ms Barbara Knackstedt, at the markets this Sunday at 11am.

“Canberra’s nights can certainly be chilly and it’s a hard fact that on any one of these nights more than 100 people are sleeping without a roof over their head. Many of these homeless are families with children. It is great to see such support coming from Diane and the stallholders of the Old Bus Depot Markets. The support, both financial and through the winter garments, will be put to good use for Canberra’s homeless” Ms Knackstedt said.

The mean minimum temperature for Canberra in June is 1.4 degrees Celsius, and can get as low as minus five. Participants in the sleepout will be allowed only a sleeping bag and pillow, and will be given cardboard to separate them from the concrete. They will be given a basic meal of soup and a bread roll and will commit to staying out from 7pm to 7am. Donations can be made online at www.ceosleepout.org.au Follow the links to Canberra and click Diane’s name so it goes toward the Old Bus Depot Markets’ contribution.

“I feel I am in a unique position to represent our Old Bus Depot Markets community and to make a difference within our larger community,” Ms Hinds concluded.

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