Rotorua Daily Post health and business reporter

Rotorua Girls' High School students join Lifewise Big Community Sleepout (+video)

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They've been learning about social issues such as homelessness in class - now a group of Rotorua Girls' High School students are set to get a small taste of the problem firsthand.

Ten Year 13 sociology students will join dozens of others tonight sleeping rough in Kuirau Park as part of The Lifewise Big Community Sleepout Rotorua.

Ashleigh Nairn said studying homelessness had been an eye-opener and she expected the sleepout to give her an even better insight.

Ashleigh said the group were required to take part in a social action as part of class work.

Rotorua Girls' High School students Judaea Newton, Ashleigh Nairn and Te Rima Walker prepare to take part in The Lifewise Big Community Sleepout Rotorua. PHOTO/BEN FRASER
Rotorua Girls' High School students Judaea Newton, Ashleigh Nairn and Te Rima Walker prepare to take part in The Lifewise Big Community Sleepout Rotorua. PHOTO/BEN FRASER


Their initial idea was a can drive, then they decided to do the sleepout.

"We thought what better way than to take part."

She said she was suprised to learn the extent of homelessness in Rotorua.

Fellow student Judaea Newton said she was most worried about the rain.

She was also surprised, saying she "didn't know we had that many homeless people in Rotorua".

"I think it will make us appreciate what we have."

The class had held a bake sale at school to raise money, and hoped to raise $200 each.


Read more:
Sleepout raises awareness of homeless (+video)


Only the older class members have been able to take part because the event is for over 18s.

It follows on from last year's big sleepout, which saw 38 people sleep rough in the Pukuatua St carpark to fundraise to end homelessness in Rotorua.

The Lifewise Big Community Sleepout Rotorua will be held at the south end of Kuirau Park, outside Rotorua Aquatic Centre. The area will be fenced with security.

There are 87 participants who have so far raised more than $14,000 towards the $25,000 target.

The Lifewise Big Community Sleepout Rotorua
• Taking place at Kuirau Park tonight
• Aims to raise awareness of and money for homelessness
• Participants will spend the night sleeping on cardboard in the elements

- Rotorua Daily Post

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