FABULOUS FOOTY: Human Nature program manger, Jen Parke, with talented Lismore Swans junior player Zack Connelly and Lismore Swans committee member David Bowker after the cub donated a huge of footballs to the outdoor mental health program. Daniel Cohen / dcsportsphotography
FABULOUS FOOTY: Human Nature program manger, Jen Parke, with talented Lismore Swans junior player Zack Connelly and Lismore Swans committee member David Bowker after the cub donated a huge of footballs to the outdoor mental health program. Daniel Cohen / dcsportsphotography

Lismore Swans kick goals for mental health group

A GENEROUS donation by the Lismore Swans has already had a positive impact on the Northern Rivers community..

On Thursday afternoon, the club gave Human Nature Adventure Therapy (HNAT) a Northern Rivers not-for-profit organisation, a large number of preloved footballs after the organisation put a call-out for sporting items.

Lismore Swans Juniors treasurer Catherine Bresson said she saw the request on social media for sporting goods.

"I thought it sounded like a great idea.," she said.

"It's another way to help the community, we love seeing kids on the field smiling as they play Aussie rules."

HNAT program manager Jen Parke said the organisation is passionate about helping young people overcome mental health and behavioural issues and said single Sherrin can make an incredible difference to an at-risk young person.

"Our way of working is to take therapeutic support out of clinical settings and meet young people where they 'are at' geographically and where they're most likely to feel comfortable," she said.

"Kicking a footy, shooting some hoops or creating art can be a great way for our psychologists and therapeutic mentors to connect with a young person who would never talk about their feelings in a clinical setting.

"Today a young man who is not a member of the Swans used one of the donated footballs to enjoy a kick with a psychologist and then they had a walk and talk."

Parke said she was impressed the Lismore Swans responded so fast after HNAT posted in social media they needed some sporting gear.

"The Lismore Swans football club has really shown what a fantastic community organisation they are," she said.

"They responded quickly to our call out by donating a huge bag of pumped-up footballs.

"They know how important being outdoors and being active is for mental and physical health and that's what we're all about too.."

Parke said HNAT are still seeking donations for equipment and resources to support engaging with young people who are doing it tough.

"We are totally funded through community and philanthropic grants, so this donation is sensational," she said.

"If anyone has any sporting resources they would like to donate please contact us via 0476 796 720 or www.humannature.org.au


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