A national program with grassroots impact
Over the past three and a half years, SleepSafe has grown into a national material aid program providing free, high-quality linen and towels to over 550 frontline homelessness services across Australia. Just this February, the program celebrated raising enough funds for over 100,000 Sleep Kits to be distributed – a true testament to the incredible fundraising that Sheridan store staff do every day and the generous donations made by their customers and SleepSafe supporters. This year already we have been able to supply over 9,400 kits to people facing homelessness, crisis, and hardship, with another 9,100 being distributed this month.
But behind these numbers, are teams of people working to support their local community in need, from the Sheridan store staff advocating and raising funds for SleepSafe, to the staff at community organisations handing over kits to vulnerable people they are supporting. Everyday in the 91 Sheridan stores across Australia, staff are talking with customers and their community about homelessness and the important way SleepSafe kits can help people in need. They do an incredible job not only in fundraising for sleep kits, but also in starting conversations about our homelessness crisis and empowering people to take action.
For every $15 that is donated, a sleep kit (a set of sheets, pillow case and towel) is given to someone experiencing or at risk of homelessness. And because funds are kept as close as possible to where they are raised, customers and staff in Sheridan stores are helping frontline organisations and vulnerable people in their region.
Recently across Australia, SleepSafe held a number of Meet and Greets where community partners of SleepSafe dropped into their local fundraising store to meet, share stories, and build stronger connections in their communities. The meet and greets were a fantastic opportunity for the Sheridan staff to meet recipient organisations who benefit from the fundraised sleep kits. It was a chance for community partners to share what a difference the sleep kits make to their programs and the vulnerable people who are supported.
Sharing stories of impact
Tania Lawrie from Community Living Association visited the Aspley Store in Brisbane. A SleepSafe partner since 2020, CLA has received nearly 100 kits through the support of the Aspley Sheridan store and supports people with intellectual and cognitive disabilities and young people at risk of homelessness through their programs.
“We met with Tania and Karen at the Sheridan Outlet. It was a fantastic opportunity to share with them about what we do and what the donations of the Sleep Safe kits mean to the people we support who experience homelessness, or are transitioning out of homelessness. Many thanks to the generous customers of the store who make these kits possible!”
Chloe Sarapas from the Women’s and Girls Emergency Centre visited the Surry Hills store in Sydney. WAGEC has received over 300 kits with help from their local fundraising store in Surry Hills, since 2019. They support women and children impacted by homelessness, domestic violence and systemic disadvantage.
“We really appreciated the opportunity to meet the Sheridan store team and share the difference that the sleep kits make for women and families living in our refuges. Amanda and her team appreciated hearing about where this support is going to and I loved hearing more about how they are promoting the SleepSafe work in stores!“
Meeting the people behind SleepSafe
Molly Dyer from Catherine House visited the Parkside store in Adelaide. A SleepSafe partner since 2021, they have received over 180 sleep kits as they support women experiencing homelessness who have been impacted by domestic and family violence.
“It was wonderful to meet with the Parkside Sheridan team this morning, Cara referred to the team as the ‘dream team’, funny as that is how we refer to ourselves at Catherine House.
It was a great opportunity to speak with the team about the work of Catherine House but also around how exactly the Sleep Kits are distributed to the women we support. Whether it be when she first arrives at Catherine House with fresh linen on her bed or a part of her moving on pack when she is ready to move into her new home. We are only able to offer our clients these items because of the generosity and kindness of the community – so a huge thank you to Sheridan and SleepSafe.
In the half hour I was there, I think there were 2-3 customers who donated to SleepSafe. Such a sense of community in the store!”
Oriana Phutully from Family Access Network visited the Nunawading Store in Melbourne. FAN have received over 250 kits with the help of their local fundraising store. Their programs provide important support to young people and their families impacted by homelessness.
“The kind staff at Sheridan found the stories we spoke about very powerful and could see how the donations collected directly help people in need. A great opportunity to meet some of the faces behind SleepSafe!”
Sleep kits providing dignity, care, and comfort in times of crisis
SleepSafe is a program run in partnership with Sheridan Australia that provides sleep kits (a set of sheets, pillow case, and towel) to frontline organisations that are supporting people at risk of or experiencing homelessness. These are practical items that bring dignity and comfort to people facing crisis and hardship, as well as helping underfunded and overworked grassroots organisations save valuable time and money. Donate $15 and give a sleep kit to someone in need today, or find out more below.