As our farmers face tough times on the land in country New South Wales, the Dyldam Parramatta Eels have taken this opportunity to partner with NSW Farmers to support our farming communities at our Round 7 Easter Monday match.
As our second-rower Ben Smith found out when he travelled to Qurindi in North-West New South Wales, more than half of New South Wales is receiving drought assistance while almost 80% of Queensland is drought declared. Click through to see the eye-opening video from his trip.
What does that mean for our farming communities?
"Farming men rarely speak about emotions and what’s going on with them; they just go out in the paddock and keep working ... hopefully they come back again."
- Helen Smith
When crops are affected, and farmers are hand-feeding stock, they can face the heart-breaking choice of killing their own animals rather than watch them starve.
And when times are hard, and farming families are under financial hardships, mental health can suffer.
The sad truth is that young men between 15 and 24 in regional areas are more than 150% more likely to end their life by suicide than their urban counterparts.
And in rural Australia, males, youth, farmers and Indigenous people are the most vulnerable to suicide.
How can we help?
"It’s certainly a time when extended family and good friends and good neighbours proves invaluable: I don’t know how people get by when they don’t have those support systems around them, both in a physical sense as well as the emotional side of things"
- Helen Smith
With the fantastic help of NSW Farmers, the Eels are raising funds to support our farmers in a simple, practical way.
All money raised at our game through our bucket collections will be placed in the NSW Farmers' disaster relief funds and used to fund junior sporting registration for all kids' sports through Northern NSW.
When times are tough, the first things to go are "luxuries" like registering your kids to play sport. But sport keeps kids active, forms friendships and - more importantly - keeps families in touch, keeps communities together.
Interaction with other families, friends and neighbours has a positive effect on mental health, as does physical activity.
Donate and show your support #forthefarmers:
The NSW Farmers’ Association Natural Disaster Relief Fund (registration number 18497) is a special purpose bank account to accept donations via EFT:
Account Name: NSW Farmers’ Association Natural Disaster Relief Fund
Account number: 18-215-7040
Donations will also be accepted by cheque made out to NSW Farmers’ Association Natural Disaster Relief Fund and sent to NSW Farmers’ Association Natural Disaster Relief Fund, GPO Box 459, St Leonards, NSW 1590.
Are donations tax deductable?
All donations over $2.00 are tax deductable. Please download and complete this form if you wish to receive a tax deductibility receipt.