RUOK? convoy comes to Macksville

Danny Doolan Time2Talk President with Lisa Nichols, Woolgoolga RUOK? Ambassador.

THE RUOK? Conversation Convoy, headed by the chief executive Katherine Newton and her team from Sydney and Melbourne toured through the Nambucca Valley on Friday 29 July before heading to Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga and Lismore.

With the help of the Time2Talk Volunteers, a free breakfast barbecue and coffee event was organised to welcome the Conversation Convoy to the Valley.

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Hundreds flocked to the event on the river bank in Macksville, with businesses, schools and organisations enjoying conversations and entertainment by Alicia Parry Music.

RUOK? CEO Katherine Newton was heartened at the welcome and turnout by Nambucca locals.

Kane Gois and Connective Fitness took to the stage and ran a Mums and Bubs fitness class on the grass area.

Afterwards the mothers group enjoyed free coffees and enjoyed conversations, asking one simple question to the class, RUOK?

People young and old attended the event with familiar and unfamiliar faces attending, and some from Kempsey and Woolgooga.

“Steve from Kempsey came and inspired us all with his story of resilience and depression, and how the RUOK?

message helped to save his life three years ago,” Gemma from Time2Talk Nambucca told News Of The Area.

Macksville Public School students from Year 5 and 6 were welcomed by the RUOK? team and engaged in a talk given by Campaign Director, Katherine Newton about feelings and how to recognise when someone is sad or lonely.

“The students were very engaging, one student even asking “how can I volunteer with Time2Talk NV”,” said Gemma.

Katherine Newton said, “We shouldn’t wait to ask – we need to have these conversations every day of the year.

“By getting out on the road again this year, we’ll be encouraging everyone, no matter their location, to trust their gut instinct and ask the question as soon as they notice the signs someone might be doing it tough.

“RUOK? provides four steps to navigating a conversation if someone says, “No, I’m not OK”: Ask , Listen, Encourage action and Check in.”

More than 200 coffee vouchers were given to locals on the day and encouraged to start a conversation with a stranger.

“This just could have helped someone feeling lonely and needing to chat.

“These vouchers were then used at local Macksville coffee shops and these businesses were extremely busy on the day,” said Gemma.

“We would like to thank the Nambucca Valley Council for helping create the event and allowing the national RUOK? team to venture through and chat to locals who may have been struggling.

“We thank Connective Fitness, Time2Talk Volunteers and Design Writer Andrew Homes for his constant assistance and support to Mental Health Awareness,” said Gemma.

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