Sleeping rough

Lori Rattenbury will take her teddy with her to the sleep-out.

By Casey Neill

 Marysville’s Lori Rattenbury will sleep at the MCG for a good cause for the sixth year in a row.

The Sleep at the ‘G (SATG) charity event is returning on Thursday 16 May.

The country’s largest mass sleep-out is in its seventh year and will raise vital funds for Melbourne City Mission (MCM) to help young people break the cycle of homelessness.

Ms Rattenbury will be dusting off her beanie and braving the cold alongside more than 2000 others.

“I’m just big on volunteering for charities and youth homelessness and homelessness in general always touched my heart,” she said.

She said the event was a lot of fun as well as a great way to raise awareness for MCM.

Ms Rattenbury will attend with a group of friends.

“We’ve made it our yearly thing to do,” she said.

“Every year we know more and more people going.

“We make it a point to get dressed up. We usually go in a costume, we make a theme each year.”

This year they’re planning to wear sleeping bag onesies.

“We try to make it as comfortable as possible considering it’s a sleep-out at the MCG,” she said.

“We do pack our blow-up mattress and a heap of games to play throughout the night.”

The event includes dress-up competitions and bands, giant jenga and more.

“The morale is great,” Ms Rattenbury said.

“Everybody sets up their makeshift sections and use cardboard to make walls and houses to sleep in.

“You get hot soup and a bread roll and coffee and tea.

“You don’t have a great night’s sleep, but it makes you realise that even the rough night that we have, we take our creature comforts from home to make it as comfortable as we can.

“Imagine doing it without that…

“Even a hot meal is not always an option.”

MCM hopes this year’s event will raise $1.2 million to help provide relief and support to more than 6000 Victorian youths experiencing homelessness.

“Sleep At The ’G is an opportunity to come together and express our collective support for some of Victoria’s most vulnerable young people who have nowhere safe to sleep,” MCM chief executive Vicki Sutton said.

“It will be a chance to raise awareness of youth homelessness and how we all can contribute by working together to make a difference so more young people can get their lives on track and lead independent lives.”

Visit www.sleepattheg.com.au to support the cause.

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