Ride for Country Kids 10-year anniversary!
For 10 years, hundreds of cyclists have headed out on a three-day ride across regional NSW to help raise awareness and vital funds to support country kids to access vital developmental, behavioural and mental health services they need to learn, grow and thrive.
The Ride will take cyclists into the heart of the regions we support, meet & experience communities from a different perspective and take in spectacular sites and scenery, from the best vantage point.
This year we are taking the ride to the communities and towns significantly impacted by the Black Summer bushfires of 2019. The impact of bushfires, coupled with the existing disadvantage of distance and availability of services, means the children in these communities are still recovering. As we enter into another challenging bushfire season, there could not be a greater time to join our ride and support country kids.
We ride to raise funds, we ride to show our support to resilient communities and we ride for healthy country kids!
Where we're headed in 2024!
Setting off on Sunday 17 March, the ride will cover over 330km of stunning NSW scenery. Taking in forests, farmland and national parks, and the breathtaking route along the beautiful NSW coastline. Along the route we will have the privilege of meeting some of the wonderful communities Royal Far West proudly serves. The 2024 ride will begin in Merimbula, circling back via Eden, then Bega and we will visit Tathtra before finishing in Cobargo on Tuesday 19 March.
Day 1: Merimbula to Merimbula (circle) via Eden and Wyndham
Day 2: Merimbula to Merimbula (circle) via Bega
Day 3: Merimbula to Cobargo via Tathra
Why we ride
Country communities are still recovering from the impact of the 2019 bushfires. As we enter into another challenging bushfire season, there is no greater time to ride and support our country communities.
Every Australian child has the right to access quality health, education and development services, but sadly the impact of natural disasters like devastating bushfires coupled with the existing disadvantage of distance and availability of services, has seen the number of country kids in need of developmental and mental health services drastically increase.
In March 2024, we'll be riding again to connect even more country kids with complex, undiagnosed developmental and mental health needs to the critical assessments, services and support they need to thrive.
We're aiming to raise $600,000 to directly support the health and wellbeing of Australia's country kids. We need your help so we can support country kids - helping them achieve their potential.
Who we ride for
Jack* is 10 years old and lives with his family in a small town on the South Coast of NSW. During the summer of 2020, bushfires burnt around Jack’s home and the children were evacuated to their grandmother’s house further up the coast. After the disaster, Jack became quiet and withdrawn and would startle easily.
Jack has been involved with our the Bushfire Recovery Program (BRP) for some time and has benefited initially from seeing a care team – this included sessions with a psychiatrist, paediatrician, dietitian, occupational therapist, and social worker.
Jack’s changing needs and progress highlights the longer-term impact of these disasters on children and the ability of the BRP to respond to those changing needs.
Jack’s school received support from clinicians from the Bushfire Recovery team during their outreach visit to his area, and Jack was able to receive ongoing telepsychology services for close to a year to support his mental health.
Jack’s psychologist spoke with Jack about some of the traumas he had experienced, including the bushfires, and provided other emotional supports including:
- Information about emotions and the brain.
- Emotional regulation and grounding skills, and experiential grounding activities in sessions.
- Normalising emotions and discussing helpful and unhelpful ways of coping with them.
- Narrative therapy activities encouraging Jack to establish a stronger sense of identity, and connection to family and community.
- Supporting a move to a new school.
- Consulting with Jack’s mother to monitor his progress and provide recommendations.
Jack said he enjoyed the sessions and he became able to share his thoughts and feelings to work through difficult situations. When Jack no longer needed the support from the Program, the team ensured that his family was linked in with a local service that could provide ongoing care.
* Name and image changed to protect client privacy