My first night of volunteering for the sleepbus, I arrived on a slightly rainy night at the bus in Maroochydore, slightly nervous with the anticipation on what it will be like. I had no experience with the organisation, nor working closely with vulnerable people that don't have a roof to put over their head. But most of all, I was keen to make a difference.
I was crushed, as I approached the bus on Kingsford Smith Place in Maroochydore, to find that the service was cancelled and would not be available for this night. Why? Well you see the bus only has approval to park up in its location for a certain time overnight, then during the day it needs to be driven back to it's depot and have the battery system recharged for the next nights' service. Unfortunately, there was no one to drive the bus back to the depot in the morning. So because there was no one able to drive the bus in the morning once the sleep service was complete, it had to be cancelled.
I remember seeing a man hovering around the bus nearby, a keen guest who had no where to go for the night and was keen to get out of the rain no doubt. How disappointing to have to turn him away. He's probably spent the week planning on getting a decent nights sleep on the bus (which currently only operates 3 nights per week) and to be turned away in these circumstances... well I felt the weight of his let down.
But it also drove an energy in me - a real awareness that stuff doesn't get done when you expect other people to do it. It made me realise, if I don't want that sleep bus service to be cancelled, I need to do something about it. I need to mirror the change. I need to draw awareness to the cause. And I need to help the effort to get financial support to the service, so it remains viable and sustaining.
To find out more about the sleepbus service head to https://www.sleepbus.org/our-work/about-us
And even if it is just $5 - the cost of the cup of coffee you might enjoy on your way to work - I would sincerely appreciate your support in getting behind my fundraising drive.