More than eighty people gathered at the Victoria Park Pavilion in Daylesford on Sunday September 10th to support Mental Health research. Daylesford Rotary Club has organised these events for many years, except during the pandemic, to encourage discussion about mental health, to raise funds for research and to provide an opportunity for locals to get together to support each other. More than $1,860 was raised on the day for Mental Health Research.

Local legend, Chris Soper, talked about loneliness and mental health signals which each of us can learn to recognise in order to help our friends, families and neighbours to better deal with these difficult issues. Mental Health has become even more important as the effects of the pandemic affected so many people in our communities and they continue to struggle.

An Op Shop fashion event took place with clothing provided through Daylesford’s St Vinnies store to highlight how we can recycle and reuse clothing of great quality rather than see so much discarded into landfill.

One of the winning hats. (Photo: Supplied)

Australian Rotary Health, for more than 37 years, has been funding various health research projects with a strong focus on Mental Health in recent years. Over $55 million has been raised by Rotary Clubs across Australia for one of the largest independent funds for Health.

Hepburn Shire Mayor, Councillor Brian Hood welcomed people to Country and also participated in the display of recycled clothing to encourage people to recognise that recycling and re-use provide opportunities to not only save money but also to help the transition to better sustainability. Brian was supported in the fashion parade by locals Lyn Strates, Liz Corbett and Chris Soper.

Prizes were also given out for Best Hat displays. Lakehouse donated a $100 voucher which was one of the prizes in a raffle as part of the fund raising. This event was organised by Daylesford Rotarians and Friends led by Lesley Hewitt and Terri Oprean.

Chris Sopher’s talk emphasised the importance of support networks, being involved in community and friends. There are many local groups that we can link in with such as the University of the Third Age (U3A) which is run by volunteers and provides an amazing range of courses and activities. Other opportunities include the Men’s Shed, Probus, Ageing Disgracefully; Daylesford Rotary and other supportive groups.

Arlo Deacon from Daylesford Secondary College played music to welcome people and later Rachel Hewitt sang to entertain the audience.