RAW Official Charity for Agfest 2019

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Agfest is delighted to announce that Rural Alive and Well (Inc.) is the Official Charity Partner for Agfest 2019.

Rural Alive and Well (RAW) is a not-for-profit state-wide service that provides support, mental health wellbeing and suicide prevention initiatives to rural people and communities across Tasmania.

 Business Services Team Leader Peta-Maree Davidson explains that RAW “was founded by a group of community members, after the devastating event of a cluster of suicides that occurred in the Central Highlands. This year RAW celebrates a decade of providing support to rural Tasmania. We started out with one half-time worker in a donated ute, dropping into farms in the midlands area. Today we have 16 staff state-wide providing support to all of rural Tasmania including Bruny, King and Flinders Island. Over the last 10 years RAW has expanded our service provision to include counselling and support, training, capacity building, and disaster relief and  provided support to thousands of individuals across the state”.

Peta-Maree commented that “the announcement of RAW as the Official Charity Partner for Agfest 2019 clearly illustrates that suicide prevention along with mental health and wellbeing is a topic close to everyones heart. It gives a clear message that suicide is a topic that we need bring out of the shadows and that we all need to address, to educate ourselves on the warning signs and know how and where to find help. Prevention requires everyone to be aware of suicide risks in our families, schools and towns, it takes education, shared understanding and increasing resilience in a community to actually help prevent suicide.”

Agfest Chairman Owen Woolley notes “Rural Alive and Well aligns itself quite well with what we do as an event, we are agriculturally based and trying to help agricultural businesses and strengthen the community. To associate ourselves with RAW is quite fitting with our core values. For us to be able to help and support an organisation that is impacting the agricultural sector in Tasmania and getting to the key issues of mental health and suicide prevention is quite important. “

In addition to the platform Agfest provides to RAW to help tackle these issues by engaging with the community, Vice-Chairman Ethan Williams notes “we will also donate 50 cents from each Agfest ATM transaction and present RAW with a cheque after the event has concluded. This is in addition to the Main Street site frontage provided, and kindly donated marquee that Agfest sponsor Weeding Hire provide to RAW for use at Agfest 2019.”

Peta-Maree hopes that RAW’s role as Agfest 2019 Official Charity Partner will “encourage more individuals to drop in to the RAW site to meet a Rural Outreach Worker, to get information about the RAW programs, and to learn about some vital tools to respond to suicide risks and warning signs in our community”.