Showing our support at Morwell

The result didn't matter, but the game did.

Friday's Emergency Services match was about more than football, it served as another example of the community coming together in times of need.

The event started with our Next Generation Academy team competing in a practice match before the Hawks took on the Saints, with all funds raised going to the Gippsland Emergency Services Relief Fund. Whether it was fans travelling up from Melbourne or locals getting to witness big stars on their home field, they all dug deep to generously raise over $10,000 to those in need.

Various Hawks community partners had a presence on the day to help raise awareness for the work they are already undertaking within the community. headspace Morwell had members of their Youth Reference Group in attendance who engaged with the community, playing games with young people and letting the community know about where they can seek help for their mental health if needed.

Beyond Blue were on hand on the day, teaming up with local mental health coaches to spread the word of Beyond Blue’s NewAccess Program. This new initiative is delivered in conjunction with Wellways and Gippsland Primary Health Network to offer free life coaching, designed to provide accessible, quality services for anyone finding it hard to manage life stresses. Research shows that over 39% of people living in the Gippsland area are currently either living with or are at risk of mental illness. Therefore, having this program for people who may not be able to access support will play a crucial role in helping people manage their mental health.

With so many people affected by the bushfires in the Gippsland region, there has never been a better time for these programs to be promoted in the community. Individuals affected by the bushfires can experience a range of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that can be intense, confusing and frightening. Thus, advocating these services to the community can assist to relieve some of these pressures for all those affected.

With the aim of raising funds for the bushfire relief, we were also able to give a few Hawks fans affected by the fires some exclusive opportunities. Scott Cummings, a Buchan resident who befriended many of the team in their recent visit to his community, started the match by tossing the coin. He was also presented with a football by Clarko, that had been signed by both sides. In addition, Nicholson residents, the Martin family, were surprised by Hawthorn and Nissan with a VIP experience including driving a brand new Nissan to the game, private elevated seating and the chance for the kids to run out onto the field with the players. Father, Nigel Martin, explained how the family had been warned to evacuate their home, which left the kids extremely overwhelmed. Through the support of Hawthorn and Nissan, this experience has boosted the family’s spirits and will be a day they will never forget.

We would like to thank all our partners involved in creating such a successful event. It displays the power that a connection between the Hawks and community can have in creating both funds and experiences for those affected.

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