Full sail ahead for Sol­dier On in Perth

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Business -

AN­ZAC Day is an ap­pro­pri­ate time to also fo­cus on our more re­cently re­turned servicemen and women and Ap­ple­cross-based Sol­dier On is en­cour­ag­ing at­ten­dance at a cen­ten­nial break­fast in Perth on April 24 to raise funds for its sup­port pro­grams.

Sol­dier On WA State manager Daniel Fog­a­rty said the in­de­pen­dent na­tional char­ity had pro­vided sup­port to for­mer Aus­tralian De­fence Force (ADF) mem­bers who had re­turned from ser­vice with phys­i­cal or psy­cho­log­i­cal wounds, and their fam­i­lies since 1990.

The WA op­er­a­tion, es­tab­lished in WA about 18 months ago by two vol­un­teers, gained its first em­ployee in De­cem­ber and is based at an of­fice pro­vided by the South of Perth Yacht Club (SoPYC) at Cof­fee Point in Ap­ple­cross.

Mr Fog­a­rty said the branch ran a weekly learn to sail pro­gram on an Etchells yacht do­nated by the SoPYC, where a part­ner­ship had also been formed with fel­low ten­ant Cam Can, an or­gan­i­sa­tion that helps peo­ple with dis­abil­ity and their fam­i­lies live in the com­mu­nity.

“We had some sailors, for­mer de­fence per­son­nel, that en­joyed learn­ing to sail on the Etchells yacht so much that they helped crew a ves­sel in the 2014 Syd­ney to Ho­bart race,” Mr Fog­a­rty said.

“The yacht they were on, South­ernEx­cel­lence, fin­ished ninth with line honours.

“Sol­dier On was able to pay for this ex­pe­ri­ence, which has helped th­ese guys enor­mously.”

Other ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude weekly so­cial cy­cling ses­sions, ca­noe and sea kayak­ing, learn to row classes and a re­cent learn to surf week­end for seven vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies in Mar­garet River.

“We like to pro­mote healthy, ac­tive life­styles be­cause we know it’s good for men­tal health,” Mr Fog­a­rty said. “It gives them a rea­son to get out of bed in the morn­ing and the fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties are a chance for peo­ple to meet and make new friend­ships, pre­vent­ing so­cial iso­la­tion and help­ing ev­ery­one bet­ter recog­nise and deal with Post Trau­matic Stress Dis­or­der, anx­i­ety and stress.”

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