13 June 2021 – SHARE SMR Inc with the support of Attorney-General of NSW Mark Speakman, SC MP raised over $2000 at Caringbah Bunnings to fund mental health initiatives for vulnerable older citizens in Sutherland Shire and St Georges Community.
Early on Sunday morning, while most Sydneysiders were rugging up to stay warm, volunteers for SHARE SMR Inc (a non-profit organisation providing accessible exercise and wellbeing programs to those over 50) were donning aprons and firing up the grill plate at Caringbah Bunnings in Sutherland Shire – energised by the goal to raise critical funds for essential mental health initiatives for isolated, vulnerable older citizens.
But SHARE’s volunteers did not have to wait long for community support to flood in, and the successful sausage sizzle smashed fundraising goals with over $2000 raised to go directly to funding programs which strengthen social and community connections for older people.
The inspiring fundraiser drew the support of notable non-profit, local and state government representatives, with Attorney-General of NSW Mark Speakman, SC MP, and Barbara Ward, President of SHARE, Nutrition Australia NSW, Lupus Australia and board member for a number of notable charities on the volunteer team.
“We need to look after those vulnerable members in our community,” says Mark Speakman, who worked front of tent serving and thanking those supporting the cause.
Barbara Ward observed, “Unfortunately, our vulnerable seniors have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 lockdown and social isolation measures, as often their primary point of social contact is outside of the home – and this poses a significant risk to their mental health.”
With over 4000 men and women participating in SHARE’s exercise classes across Sydney, the organisation has noted a widespread and substantial increase in stress, anxiety, and depression among those over 50 – particularly in the elderly population.
“At SHARE, we’ve been doing all we can through free weekly support programs, live online classes and webinars, over the phone support and the list goes on,” says General Manager Adrian Prakash, “but we need help to continue reaching as many people as possible – and these funds are vital for new initiatives on the horizon as we continue to respond to the impacts on COVID-19.”
Importantly, this fundraiser was a reminder to all volunteers and members of the public that our elderly relatives, friends and neighbours need our support – even if it is just a chat over a cup of tea or gardening together on a Saturday morning. Social connection is a fundamental element of wellbeing.
SHARE would like to extend their appreciation all those who contributed to this important cause.