In line with our core value of Citizenship, the WCG Team will shed their beds on the night of World Homeless Day 2020 to raise money for their charity of choice Beddown.
As a team, we aim to raise a minimum $5,000 by 10th October 2020 – World Homeless Day to help Beddown achieve their mission of “repairing the quality of life before building the life of quality.”
There are a number of ways you can help and it’s as simple as Shed, Share, Support or do the three. Learn more here.
Our journey with Beddown began nearly two years ago when our Director, Natalie Rayment was introduced to Norm McGillivray, CEO and Founder of Beddown. Natalie was inspired by Norm’s personal story and the purpose of Beddown and was eager to help.
Homelessness is the issue directly related to every player and influencer in our industry, that’s why when the WCG Culture Committee were looking for a charity of choice in early 2019 nothing else made more sense than to choose Beddown.
“We are pleased that we were able to help Beddown from a town planning perspective, navigating the planning approval process to get the pilot project off the ground,” says Michael Wolter, WCG Managing Director. “We are also happy to see Natalie being appointed Deputy Chair of the Beddown board.
Natalie’s progression into this role is only natural and is in line with her passion for creating cities and regions that deliver quality of life for our communities and her work towards “housing is a human right” via YIMBY Qld.
Beddown’s innovative model of repurposing underutilized spaces for those most vulnerable, that otherwise are a waste of space in our cities at night, was quickly picked up on during the COVID crises with cities around the world transitioning homeless people to healthier settings – hotels, motels, student accommodation etc.
What is worrying however, is the question of: ‘what’s on the other side of COVID?’ The ‘fix’ for rough sleepers is only temporary and as we slowly come out into the new normal, as students come back and hotels fill up again, these people will be back on the streets. More so, the rise in unemployment over COVID is expected to lead the way to a further increase in people sleeping rough.
At Wolter Consulting Group, an opportunity to become a part of Beddown’s journey came as we were able to help navigate the Brisbane City Plan to secure a site that was accepted development. After a concerted effort from the Planning Team we resolved with Council that the land use definition is Rooming Accommodation as a dual use within a mixed use development, and that all outcomes of the code provisions were able to be met. Since then, we saw Natalie’s appointment to Beddown’s Deputy Chair and continuing ongoing work between Beddown and our Planning team in search for securing possible sites in Qld and NSW.
One of the most exciting steps on this journey however was the Beddown pilot in September 2019 where the WCG team had the opportunity to come together with a whole lot of wonderful organisations and volunteers and welcome their Brisbane guests.
“The community atmosphere that manifested as supporting services was incredible, and I was fortunate enough to hear some amazing stories,” says Gabrielle, one of our Planners and WCG volunteers during the Beddown pilot nights.
“We may have once associated homelessness with drugs, alcohol and other mental illness related problems of which professions like ours could somewhat pass off as ‘not our issue’. In the face of challenges surrounding housing affordability and a severe shortage in community housing supply, however, perhaps it’s time to look at bigger picture, and cause and effect of our drastically increasing homeless populations.”
41 guests used Beddown over duration of the Pilot, 77% male, 23% female. The feedback was touching as we heard some incredible stories and saw some very positive results – having a good night’s sleep saw some guests stay clear from drugs, book themselves into a rehab program and even find employment.
“It’s the first time I have had a dream in years.” - Beddown Guest
While we have been looking forward to the day a permanent site is available in Brisbane so that our staff can volunteer again, hopefully on a more ongoing basis, we are also supporting Beddown in their fundraising efforts.
The WCG Culture team came up with the idea for the Shed Your Bed campaign concept in one of their fortnightly catch ups and despite the short time frame that we had in the lead up to World Homeless Day 2020 we were rolling it out from the moment we walked out of the meeting room: spreading the word and gathering a whole lot of wonderful organisations and individuals who were keen to jump on board and help us, including Urbaine Communications, Ray White Special Projects (Qld) and of course the Beddown team themselves.
We wanted Shed Your Bed to be easy and accessible for everyone even in the times of pandemics and social distancing. Sleeping anywhere but your bed, so it can be your couch or a yoga mat, indoor or outdoor, makes it easy for all, including adults, children and even pets.
The WCG team set a goal of at least $5,000 as a team and we already have some healthy competition happening with some of our business partners and friends looking to match that or even beat us. Bring it on!
Whether you’d like to join the challenge yourself or as part of your workplace, or help the WCG Team reach their goal, we’d love to welcome you to this initiative!
- Support us here or create your own Shed Your Bed profile on MyCause (individual or team) now to help us raise additional funds.
- Follow us on social media for updates and share the message with your friends and family. Or create and share your own content in support of this cause.
- On the night of 10/10/20 sleep anywhere but in a bed.
- Capture and share your experiences on social media and tag #shedyourbed and #beddown
- And don't forget to spread the word!
All profits will go to Beddown.