C.ex Community Crew Sleep Out raises funds for homeless charities Coffs Coast Coffs Coast News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - July 5, 2021 Dinner time – the soup queue. DONATIONS amounting to almost $60,000 have been raised so far by the C.ex Community Crew Sleep Out for two local charities caring for the homeless. Bedding down in cardboard boxes (donated by Jarod Jones from Coffs’ The Good Guys) around fifty individuals who chose to support the cause slept under the stars on the C.ex International Stadium Ground, on Wednesday June 23. Advertise with News of The Area today. It’s worth it for your business. Message us. Phone us – (02) 4981 8882. Email us – [email protected] A novelty for them, sleeping out is a reality for the 116,000+ people in Australia who do just that every night. As a rising issue, local shelters are crowded with men, women and youngsters who simply do not have a safe place to sleep, cook for themselves, sit peacefully, shower, no place to call home and therefore no address. Bridging the Gap Community Services and Warrina Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services are the charity partners of this seventh C.ex Sleep Out led by C.ex Group CEO, John Rafferty. John told News Of The Area, “This is a cause for people who are less fortunate than the rest of us, many of whom have suffered from domestic violence. “The shelters give them a place to go to be safe and there are people there who can help them on the path to recovery – we want to help them do their job for the homeless.” Bridging the Gap’s Rick Hammond, co-founder Peter Clayton and in-house Chef Paul Collins, told News Of The Area, “This is about shining the light on homelessness, getting rid of the stigma and making people aware that there are roads to recovery.” At the shelter “it’s all about the lunch”, they say, as people of all ages, some with families, visit, eat, talk and enjoy human connection. “We provide peer support, counselling and courses, like Cooking to a Budget, Parenting, Drug & Alcohol and Anger Management – and job-ready skills.” Jean Clayton, who co-founded Bridging the Gap said she has heard unbelievable stories of abuse in homes and communities which is what drove her to start up the shelter with her husband back in 2005. “When boys have been sexually abused they get into drugs to cover the shame. “People with experience who’ve been helped can help others on the same journey.” Cycles of abuse at home drive people out onto the street, both Bridging the Gap Community Services and Warrina Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services work to move these issues, provide safe places and supportive recovery programs with open arms policies. This year sees the total raised by the Coffs’ C.ex Sleep Out reach over $330k since starting in 2014. Fundraising is open at https://cexcommunitycrewsleepout2021.gofundraise.com.au/payments/donate/beneficiary/1805. By Andrea FERRARI Cardboard box ‘bedroom’. Jean Clayton, co-founder of Bridging The Gap with Gail and her son Paul, friends of the charity. John Rafferty, CEO C.ex Group welcomes Sleep Out fundraisers. Bridging The Gap’s Rick Hammond, Paul Collins and co-founder, Peter Clayton.