ACT Meteors Captain, Ange Reakes, led a magnificent fundraising effort with her team in February to raise over $10,000 for Lifeline Canberra.
Ange, who has been an ambassador of Lifeline for 18 months, said she had some friends who passed away following a battle with their mental health and when the coronavirus pandemic had reached its highest point yet in Australia mid-last year, took some more confronting phone calls from those close to her which she did not know exactly how to handle.
“Losing some friends and hearing from friends who were struggling was difficult, so I really wanted to be able to help,” said Ange.
“I found out that a phone call to Lifeline costs just $26 to answer. We then reached out to our community for donations and and I would have been happy with each of my teammates donating enough to cover a potentially lifesaving phone call, but to raise over $10,000 was awesome.
“It ended up being the amount that it actually costs to train one of the volunteers in the Lifeline call centre. It was so surprising the amount we raised, we are really big on ‘community’ as a team and it was special for us all to come together on this.
“Luckily, our Meteors’ sponsor Abode Hotels pledged to double the money we raised as players so I’m really thankful to them.”
Ange knows how great a strong support network can be for one’s mental health and believes the team she leads at the Meteors are all there for another in a time of need.
“A lot of us here in Canberra have moved away from home to play for the ACT so we’re really strong on the group being a family, we call ourselves the ‘Sisterhood’, so we just want to support each other as much as we can.”
Ange’s role as an ambassador for Lifeline is largely about spreading awareness of what services are available to somebody when they are in need of some help.
“When you are in that situation and you are struggling and you feel there is no way out, it’s important to know that there are options for you that can really help, so spreading that message around as much as I can is what I’ve been doing.
“It can sometimes be easier for somebody who is struggling to be able to talk to a stranger rather than divulge things to their closer circle, so that’s probably the biggest piece for me, letting people know that there is help out there.”
If you or someone you know is facing difficulty with their mental health, you can contact Lifeline for support on 13 11 14.