News

Amaroo Neighbourhood Centre Chadstone Event
Amaroo Neighbourhood Centre : The Elephant in the Room. Art exhibition to break down the barriers faced by those of us who live with mental illness every day.
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A special Event For Fathers - Headspace Group On-Line Chat
At SPANeast, we like to share the good work of others, and headspace have a great, user friendly online event coming up on Thursday May 5th @ Midday. It is aimed towards fathers, particularly of teenage children. You can actively participate and ask questions for the headspace clinicians to answer, or or can simply read through the questions and answers that have come from others.
We have been run off our feet
Hello Everyone!
We have so much to share today.
After a much needed break over Christmas, our committee have been discussing the many projects and goals for 2016.

So far this year:
Rotary Ferntree Gully - SPANeast was invited to spend a night with Ferntree Gully Rotary, and we had the privilege of presenting to the committee to share what we know, why we do what we do and what our goals for the future are. We would like to say thank you to the Rotary committee, who work very hard to bring positive change to their community.

Girl Guides - Committee member Nicky is working closely with the Eastern Regional Manager of Girl Guides to co-ordinate our Knox Council and Shire of Yarra Ranges Grant project. We successfully received funding from the local councils to allow 20+ Eastern based Girl Guide Leaders the opportunity to complete their Youth Mental Health First Aid. This is a fabulous course that will significantly increase their knowledge of mental health in young people. It will give them the confidence to tackle this often difficult subject without fear, and with compassion and sensitivity.

Bendigo Bank - last year, SPANeast were given funds from the Bendigo Bank to initiate our 'Living Memory Project'. We will share more details on this project very soon, but for now we need to purchase a laptop, photo friendly software and other electronic bits and pieces to get the ball rolling. This project is an electronic adaptation of the the beautiful 'Lifekeeper Memory Quilt' created by the Salvation Army's Hope for Life Program. We hope to do the project as much justice for victims of suicide as Hope for Life did.

Knox News - And last but not least. SPANeast had a huge feature in the recent Knox News, delivered to approx 50,000 households in the Knox Area. If you didn't see it, go to our facebook page for the link that will take you straight to it. It's a fabulous boost to the SPANeast committee to have such an article in the paper, and it keeps us motivated to continue to fight Victoria's horrendous suicide toll.
Upcoming events
Although we're cutting it fine by advertising this now we feel it's still well worth putting it out there as there is still time for anyone interested to register their work and the exhibition won't be held until October.


SPANeast will again be having a stall at the Bayswater Community Arts Festival (previously known as the Bayswater Community Festival) in October this year this year.


We'll also be having another sausage sizzle at Woolworths in Ferntree Gully (cnr Burwood Hwy & Branock Park Dr) on Sunday December 13th.

And on November 19th we'll be holding our AGM at the Tin Shed, 1623-1625 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave, 7-8pm for anyone interested in attending.
Something for the boys.....
A new program is starting through EACH for young men aged 14-16 years. It's called Mankind and sounds like an amazing opportunity for any young men struggling a little bit with the changes life is presenting them with at this stage of their development. If anyone you know could benefit, please pass on the information below.
The Bendigo Bank
On the 18th of May Nicky, Lesley and Gayle attended the Ferntree Gully and Rowville Community Bank branches of Bendigo Bank, Community Grant presentation evening. At the presentation we learned that we had been granted $1020.00 to purchase equipment to set up our own digital version of the Salvation Army Memory Keeper Quilt which we have been fortunate to have been allowed to display at our last two walks. The presentation evening was a great night with opportunity to learn more about and meet representatives of other not-for-profit groups in our local area as well as hearing stories about how the Ferntree Gully and Rowville Community Bendigo Bank branches have helped various community groups in the past. As this is our third community grant from the Bendigo

Bank we are extremely grateful for their continued support.
Last week we were again contacted by the Ferntree Gully Bendigo Bank branch to inform us that we have been chosen as the recipients of the proceeds of their Charity Box. We have been donated $160 dollars from the Charity Box which is contributed to by community branch members. This unsolicited and generous donation was a huge surprise and we were really touched to hear that the branch staff had voted to make SPANeast the recipients.
A quick update
With April nearly over we're midway between walks so just thought we'd let you know where we're at.........
Since our 2014 Awareness Walk we have attended the Maroondah And Knox Festivals as well as the Bayswater Community Fair. All of these events are a great opportunity to come into contact with members of our community.
We took our chatterbox along to the Knox Historical Society Family Fun Day at Ambleside Park and the Knox Festival and enjoyed watching adults and children alike enjoying the experience. While we have no plans to use the Chatterbox again until our next walk in October, we will be lending it to Knox Youth Services for one of their events.
We have also been busy with sausage sizzles in order to fundraiser to pay our public liability insurance and the good news is that thanks to Woolworths Ferntree Gully, Masters and Bunnings in Scoresby we have achieved that goal. With our insurance paid we are well on our way towards preparing for this years walk.
You may have seen the news that we received 6 places for Mental Health First Aid training: 3 standard places and 3 youth places. At this stage Nicky is the only one who has completed her training with the rest of us waiting for the second round of dates to be made available in order to book in for ours. We also received funding from The Knox Community Bank Group of Bendigo Bank for a First Aid Kit and two members to receive First Aid training. We purchased the First Aid kit prior to last years walk and had it handy on the day. Cheryl and Gayle will be doing their First Aid courses shortly so between us all (some members already have First Aid certificates) we'll have plenty of trained members on hand should any mishaps occur.
So, that the last 6 months and we now have 6 months left to prepare for this years awareness walk. Please suggest our Facebook page to you friends to help us reach as many people as possible And we'll see you in October.
We're off to the Knox Festival
This Saturday (Feb. 28th) and Sunday (March 1st) We will have our Chatterbox at the Knox Festival. If it's been a while since you've had some fun come along and jump in. Wally Tew Reserve, Brenock Park Drive, Ferntree Gully (behind Woolworths. See you there.
Meeting and Sausage Sizzle
A little late but........we have a meeting tonight at The Tin Shed in Belgrave,1623 - 1625 Burwood Highway. It starts at 7.00pm. Hopefully you've seen the reminders on Facebook and we'll see you there.
Also in the news, we are holding a sausage sizzle at Woolworths in Ferntree Gully on Saturday (21/2/15). As there are two Woolworths' in Ferntree Gully we should add that we'll be at the store on the corner of Burwood Highway and Brenock Park Drive. Come and drop in for a chat and a snag.
Mental Health First Aid training
At the end of last year we received word that our application to receive Mental Health First Aid training through a new Victorian Government initiative had been approved. Which means that 3 of our members will complete the Standard Mental Health First Aid training course over the coming months and 3 members will complete the Youth Mental Health First Aid training course. We are very excited about this opportunity and look forward to sharing some more information with you soon.
Family Fun Day Photos
Our day at Ambleside Park for the Knox Historical Society's Family Fun Day was lovely. We set up the Chatterbox under the trees and sat back and watched as group after group of children (and a couple of adults)climbed in for some fun. Strictly speaking, fooling around in the balls as though they were bubbles in a giant bubble bath, wasn't exactly the purpose of the Chatterbox but fun was had by all who ventured in and conversations were shared with some of the parents who watched as their kids buried themselves in the balls. As an exercise in public relations it was a winner (as were the bubble blowers and bracelets we gave away) and as with all the other public events we've attended it was an opportunity to connect with some people who needed to have their stories heard, their journeys acknowledged and some information and support shared.
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Your stories........
I've just been reading through the entries in our "Tributes". There are times when those of us involved in running SPANeast become overwhelmed by the work required to keep things going, by our inability to do all we would like to be able to do (due to our small numbers) and by our own continuing grief and struggle to maintain our lives. However, reading those tributes reminds me of why we continue to fight. Peoples lives are being torn apart everyday by suicide and the pain expressed in those tributes should not have to be felt by mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, children or friends.
We started SPANeast because we suffered the devastating loss of Colin and didn't want others to have to suffer that experience. We started SPANeast in the hope that we could shed light on the terrible tragedy that is suicide. We started SPANeast in the hope that knowing people cared and wanted to help might make a difference for those considering suicide and those affected by a loss through suicide. All of these things are still as true today as they were when we started and since then we have met others who have suffered a loss like ours and it's their sharing that keeps us going, that reminds us of our goals and even humbles us.
During the time we've been running SPANeast as well as holding our Community Awareness walks we've set up stalls at various community events just to let people know we're here. At these events we've been privileged to meet a great number of community members. A some of them have shared their losses with us, some their struggles to continue and some have shared their stories of survival. At the end of last year we added a new page to our site, it's called "Survivors Stories" and we would love anyone who; has contemplated suicide at some time in their life and managed to make it through that dark time or lost someone to suicide and struggled to continue without them, to share your story with us. Tell us what got you through and what continues to sustain you because.....there are days when we all need stories of hope.
Family Fun Day
This Saturday (January 17th) we will be setting up our Chatterbox at Knox Historical Society's Family Fun Day. Come and join in the fun........Click here for details
December update.....
Following a successful AGM where new members joined and a fully fledged committee was elected we are looking towards 2015 and all that it has install for us.

Our new committee is as follows:
President: Nicky Culhane
Treasurer: Cheryl Chapman
Secretary & Facebook: Lauren Hulstaert
Website & Media: Gayle Myers
Twitter & Media: Jan Birkett
Fundraising: Lesley Culhane & Michelle Lewin
General: Rayelene Hulstaert

To finish off 2014 we have a sausage sizzle at MASTERS Home Improvement (1464 Ferntree Gully Rd, KNOXFIELD) this Sunday December 14th. We'll be there all day so come along, buy a snag and say hello.

Our regular monthly meetings will continue to be held at The Tin Shed (1623-1625 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave) in 2015. Our meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at 7pm. The dates for our 2015 meetings are:
February 19th, March 19th, April 16th, May 21st, June 18th, July 16th,
August 20th, September 17th, October 15th, November 19th.

A VERY BIG THANKYOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS SUPPORTED US THIS YEAR. We hope that your Christmas and 2015 are kind to you. Remember to be kind to yourself, reachout if you're in need and let others show you how much they care. Merry Christmas everyone.
Meeting and AGM schedule
This Thursday, November 20th, at 7pm we'll be having our monthly meeting at The Tin Shed in Belgrave (1623-1625 Burwood Highway) and you're all welcome.
On Saturday November 22nd we'll be having a stall at the Bayswater Community Festival which runs from 10am-2pm in Macauley Place. Following the festival we'll be headed up to The Tin Shed again for our AGM and once again, you're all invited.

All good things.
Firstly, we are very happy to be able to announce that we recently received notification that our application to receive training in Mental Health First Aid was approved. In fact, it was not only approved but we received more places than we asked for which means that three of our members will be doing the "Standard" course and three will be doing the "Youth" course. We're really grateful for the opportunity to be able to receive this training and couldn't be happier that we've been granted the extra places.
Secondly, yesterday (Sunday Nov.9th) Lesley, Nicky and Gayle had a stall at the Maroondah Festival. We were blessed with beautiful weather, lots of good music, lovely people in the stalls around us and the opportunity to meet and connect with a whole lot of people and services from within the Maroondah community. We also got to say hello to Rima and Rayelene from Headspace who had their own stall at the Festival.
I was laying in bed last night thinking about how priveleged we are at these events to be have people come up and share their stories with us. Each one of the people who stop and tell us about their journey, whether it be survivng suicidal thoughts/attempts or the loss of someone dear to suicide, are trusting us with the most intimate and heartfelt details of their lives and hoping to be heard and have their experience acknowledged. While a festival is not always the easiest of atmospheres to have such an interaction we hope that each and every one of those people knows that we do care about what they've been through and how they continue to "be" in their lives, we are encouraged by their strength and grateful for their willingness to share. Through sharing we can reach into the shadows where suicide hides and help others to find their way back to the light.
The photos are in...........
A huge thankyou to everyone who attended last Sundays 2014 Community Awareness Walk. This time last week we were returning to the arboretum for sausages, drinks and a rest on the grass after a lovely walk up to Boronia Road and back. We're extremely thankful for the beautiful weather, especially considering what Mondays weather was like. We hope that those who attended for the first time found some community in sharing the event with others who have lost someone to suicide. We're grateful also for the support of Hennie and Wilma from Salvation Army-Hope for Life, Rima and her team from Headspace Knox and Denise from Medicare Local. We hope everyone enjoyed the sausages Rick cooked and the hot beverages from PerkMeUp, it was lovely of them to join us for the day. And now for the photographs........
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We look forward to seeing you all in 2015.
Maroondah Festival
Tomorrow is our big Day for the year with this years Community Awareness Walk but in November we'll be getting out there again at the Maroondah Festival. So if you're out and about for the day and find yourself at the festival come and find us and say hello.
2014 Community Awareness Walk poster
In answer to a special request, here is our 2014 Community Awareness Walk poster......
Healing and Rememberance Service
There are only 5 days left until our 2014 Community Awareness Walk and we are looking forward to the beautiful blue skies that have graced us for the last few days. However as we don't control the weather you should know we'll be there rain, hail or shine and we sincerely hope you'll join us.
Also coming up is an event that has been running each year for a while now and one that some of our members have attended on past occassions. However, this year we are proud to announce that we have been asked to be partners in this event and we thought you might like to share in it too......

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