100 brave cold in Dunedin Sleepout


About 100 people braved bitterly cold temperatures on Friday night to take part in the 2017 Dunedin Sleepout.

The annual event, which aims to raise awareness and funds for the Dunedin Night Shelter Trust, is in its third year.

University of Otago Volunteer Centre co-ordinator Sze-en Watts said the freezing temperatures made it tough for the Octagon sleepers, as there was frost on the grass before dawn.

“It was pretty chilly, but we had a fabulous time, with lots of activities to keep everyone amused,” Mrs Watts said.

Many sleepers built impressive forts out of cardboard and they were kept entertained by local musicians and performers.

“It is a pretty special event, and I know the students will remember it for many years to come,” she said.

Night shelter trust chairman Dave Brown, who took part in the sleepout, was pleased by the success of the event.

“It is a great way to highlight the work of the night shelter for both the community and the students,” Mr Brown said.

While fundraising amounts still had to be finalised, the sleepout had raised several thousand dollars for the trust, Mrs Watts said.