Fundraising walk steps up awareness of caregivers

March 18, 2021 BY

Mother and daughter duo Andrea and Tammy Vos will walk from Port Campbell to Whites Beach for their awareness-raising You Matter Too Walk.

IN a bid to raise much-needed awareness, local women Andrea and Tammy Vos have vowed to walk 280km for the unsung heroes providing care for those suffering with mental health issues.

The mother and daughter duo will walk from Port Campbell to Whites Beach starting on April 28 and taking 11 days to complete.

The gruelling journey is symbolic to the often untold struggles of a caregiver, a role they both know all too well.

Through years of providing care, the women noticed that while support services were readily available for their loved one, there appeared to be nothing to support them.

The Vos family was, by all appearances, the perfect unit running their own business, actively participating in local sport and the community until like many, their seemingly ideal life was rocked by mental health challenges.

While taking on the additional role as caregivers, the women were left to pick up the pieces while holding both their business and family together.

In hopes of raising awareness for those who face similar situations, the Vos Family established the You Matter Too charity walk.

“I am hopeful that we can start a conversation around the support people and provide some guidance and understanding on how to deal with their own emotions,” Tammy said.

“We’ve been through it, we continue to live it, and if our story and experience can help someone else, even just providing an ear to listen to their story, then that’s a great outcome.”

The pair opened up about their struggles as caregivers, often at times feeling angry, frustrated, tired and upset – all emotions they want to emphasise throughout their walk while overcoming these barriers with determination and strength.

“We found that walking together actually really helped us in our own mental health journey,” Andrea said.

“We’ve had some amazing businesses jump on board wanting to sponsor the event and help out it – the response has been incredible.”

As well as raising money for carers, the ‘You Matter Too Walk’ will be collecting donations for ‘This Is a Conversation Starter’- a charity which provides free ongoing mental health support to rural and remote communities.

With the goal of raising $10,000, the Vos family has secured almost half of their target at the time of print, with more than a month left to go.

Members of the public can get involved by walking the final 10 kilometres from Bells Beach to Whites Beach with the Vos Family on May 8 or by simply donating to the You Matter Too charity.

To register to walk or donate head to mycause.com.au/events/youmattertoo-walk.