A free event for rural families

People from rural communities are invited to bring along family and friends and have some fun at a free evening this Saturday, November 14, at the House With No Steps near Alstonville.

The event, Mate Helping Mate, starts at 6pm with a light meal and then features music by the Bella String Quartet and a talk by John Harper, a recipient on Random Acts of Kindness.

John Harper developed the Mate Helping Mate program based on his own struggle with depression. John crops around 550 hectares a year and purchases about 500 lambs and 100 heifers to sell, along with managing a small bus run.

“Originally, the wife of a neighbour confided in me that she was worried about her husband, who wasn’t getting out and socialising,” John said. “I drove round and round the paddock thinking about how I could help my mate and realised he wasn’t the only one suffering.”

Mate Helping Mate, which was established in 2006, raises awareness of mental well-being in times of stress and anxiety.

“It’s not my program, it’s not mine to own. It’s basically mates helping mates and that’s what we have to do when it’s tough,” he said.

St Vincent de Paul has produced a DVD on the Mate Helping Mate program which will be available free of charge on the night.


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