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Tevlin’s Winter Sleep Out – Two Student Reflections on Homelessness

Tevlin Winter Sleepout

Tevlin House had a highly successful evening on Friday at a Winter Sleep Out in our Gym. This concluded the recent Winter appeal donation drive, also for the Matthew Talbot Hostel, with guest speakers leading a fantastic discussion with boys on the common factors influencing the different types of homelessness, and the services aimed to support those without safe or permanent accommodation.

Nate Smith

Nate Smith (Year 10), also provided an inspiring local story of how small actions can grow to provide a large and ongoing impact through the evolution of ‘Pantry 4 the People’, a community pantry in Botany. Boys discussed how we can all assist in practical ways throughout our lives, and treat those experiencing homelessness with dignity.

Nate Smith at Pantry 4 The People in Botany

Nate Smith at Pantry 4 The People in Botany

Sincere Thanks

Thankyou to all the Tevlin and Waverley community for the fantastic response to the Matthew Talbot Hostel’s donation drive.

Waverley are also highly grateful to Woolworths for contributing boxes of toiletries in a huge delivery, to assist our contributions.

Thank you to the many Tevlin mentors who assisted in supervising the evening, and below are some student accounts of their experiences.

Two Student Reflections on the Sleepout

Last Friday night, Tevlin boys had the opportunity to sleep out, staying the night in the College gym as part of our homelessness initiative and support of the Matthew Talbot Hostel. During this time, special guests Damian Royce and Mike Synnott from the hostel, enlightened Tevlin House on the issue of homelessness as a whole, the work provided by the hostel, and answered the many questions we had.

Thanks to the hundreds of donations from the Waverley Community over the past four weeks, Tevlin boys organised these items, and put together more than 220 kitchen and toiletry starter packs for the Matthew Talbot Hostel.

I most enjoyed putting the packs together, as it was a rewarding activity, and the most challenging part of the night was undoubtedly the sleep. Being away from the comfort and security of our homes, and beds in particular, really gave us an insight into what our homeless population have to deal with on a daily basis. – Daniel Di Francesco (Year 12)

2022 Tevlin Winter Sleepout

Last Friday night, the Tevlin boys participated in the Matthew Talbot sleepout. The aim of this event was for us to donate essentials to the homeless, whilst also being able to experience how tough homeless people have it, one example being their sleeping situation.

We started off the night at 7 o’clock by gathering around a circle and partaking in a detailed Q and A with two representatives from the Matthew Talbot Hostel, Damian Royce and Mike Synnott. They explained to us how tough the conditions homeless people at the hostel encounter, for example, some of the residents suffer from PTSD, so they don’t feel safe living within four walls, and would rather sleep in a park with a group of homeless people.

We also created essential care packages for the residents with all the donated items. Our guest taught us so much important information about how most homeless people function in society. We enjoyed the sleepout, as we were able to choose where we wanted to sleep, and this gave us insight into how homeless people would prefer to sleep near people they trust.

What challenged me the most, was sleeping without a sleeping bag and just a light blanket, as I wanted to experience how tough the homeless sleep. I was truly grateful for this experience, as it really opened my eyes about how fortunate I am to have my own room, and have the guarantee of sleeping in my comfy bed every night, an opportunity that most homeless people don’t have.

To help homeless people in the future, I would like to advocate more hostels being opened to keep homeless people safe and to give them a sense of security. – Christian Robbins (Year 10)


Mr John McCallum

Head of Tevlin House