Our local Parkes Rugby League Club are out of this world amazing. The Parkes Spacemen went above and beyond last Sunday, when they donned special jerseys that were destined to be auctioned post-game at the Coachman Hotel in Parkes to raise funds for Safe Haven in Parkes.
Safe Haven is a place you can go if you are feeling distressed or having suicidal thoughts. It is a safe place where you can talk openly about how you are feeling and what you are going through. A place where you can feel supported and not judged. You can talk to peer-support workers or be connected to a mental health professional. If you don’t feel like chatting, you can spend time in a quiet space and listen to music. It’s free and you don’t need an appointment.
This is the first time the club has held this special day to support Safe Haven and suicide prevention but it certainly won’t be the last. Club President Tony Dwyer said, “We want to try and do it every year. If we can help just one person, then it will be a great thing.”
“The whole idea came about at last years presentation night when Captain Coach Will Wardle decided to donate his coaching money back and said he wanted to do something for suicide prevention charity.That is when we teamed up with Safe Haven in town, they are a new initiative set up by a few local people to help with mental health and suicide prevention.
“As a club, the Parkes Spacemen and the Junior League have lost three young men to suicide over the years and so we feel anything we can do to raise awareness is a great thing,” said Tony.
The club purchased a set of jumpers and decided that the Sunday, 6th August game against Dubbo Macquarie would be a fitting round as the Dubbo club have also been affected by suicide.
An incredible total of $8,800 was achieved, with $1,000 raised on the day by walking around the ground with buckets, and a further $7,800 from the jumper auction. All funds will go towards assisting the Safe Haven office in Parkes.
Tony is exceptionally proud of the clubs effort in supporting such an important issue, going on to say, “There is always a stigma with men and young blokes, they tend to bottle things up and won’t open up to people. We’ve been banging on all year about getting together, talking to your mates, make sure you open up, there is always plenty of help there and always a light at the end of the tunnel.
“We have always said with our club, there is a lot of senior people and coaches, if anyone has a problem or needs to talk just come and chat to us and we can help or we can point them in the right direction.”