Benefits still flowing from Sally’s Ride

THUMBS UP: Troy Roberts, John Clements from City Mission, Sally Fletcher, Andrea Tiffin from Longford Primary School and Teenette Van Dyk. Picture: Neil Richardson.

THUMBS UP: Troy Roberts, John Clements from City Mission, Sally Fletcher, Andrea Tiffin from Longford Primary School and Teenette Van Dyk. Picture: Neil Richardson.

A fundraiser Sally Fletcher started 14 years ago continues to build resilience and improve the mental health of young people. 

She listened to the ways Sally’s Ride still benefits programs assisting young people on Thursday at a luncheon in Launceston. 

Hearing how it continued to make a difference was “absolutely amazing”, she said.

“What a long journey and what a marvellous journey and what a fantastic outcome. I’m very happy.”

Sally's Ride started in 2002 as an around Tasmania solo bike ride to raise funds and awareness of youth suicide.

The Rotary Club of Central Launceston took over the organisation in 2009 and continue to donate all entry fees raised to the prevention of youth suicide in Tasmania.

Due to the continued success of the event it has raised and donated more than $150,000 to various local projects over the past seven years.

Children grieving a loss in their lives have received help from City Mission with a Sally’s Ride fundraising effort. 

City Mission’s Teenette Van Dyk said its program for young people experiencing grief changed their life.

To start with, children can be “crushed with their grief”, she said. They come to understand that grief is a normal response to the changes in their lives, and move through it to gain resilience. 

“It’s a lot about sharing, and providing a safe place where they can laugh or cry and share and then fill them with resilience and coping tools that they never heard of before.”

Funding will support City Mission in helping children with grief, she said.

“Above all it will enable us to reach more children, there is a waiting list ... just to have another worker on board will be a great help. This is growing. This is really growing for the children.” 

The program has a vision to expand and involve 690 children by December 2018. It currently assists 210.

Troy Roberts of Youngtown Primary School said funding raised by Sally’s Ride has let the Connect 6 group of schools survey and measure resilience levels among children.

“The data that then comes from that enables us to target the support and the programs that will raise levels of resilience.”

This year’s Sally's Ride event will start from Royal Park on Sunday November 20, 2016.

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