Race Mel Breen in a wedding dress for Lifeline

Have you ever dreamed of racing Australia’s fastest woman, while wearing a wedding dress, with all proceeds going to charity? And now ?

On Sunday August 28, Lifeline Canberra will be attending The Canberra Fair, a free entry event at Thoroughbred Park.

Previously known as the Canberra Wedding Fair, the event has expanded to incorporate some of the surrounding regions market leaders in weddings, events, travel and lifestyle – a new look brought to you by Danielle Cleary Events .

Lifeline Canberra will have a stand from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., showcasing wedding dresses, gowns, veils, formal wear, all in new condition, which have been donated to charity by Estelle Designs and Alessandra Ashley Fashion.

“We have hundreds of them!” exclaimed Lifeline Canberra CEO Carrie Leeson.

“Wedding Dresses, Mother of the Bride Dresses, Bridesmaid Dresses, Flower Girl Dresses, Matching Accessories. Dresses will be priced as low as $10. Some may be hundreds, but these are basically from our bridal book fair.

Savvy shoppers can buy hundreds of dollars worth of satin to wear or recycle, with every dollar converted into lifesaving calls to Lifeline’s 13 11 14 Crisis Helpline.

“We’ll do everything to do justice to this donation and make sure these dresses find a good home, including getting a good deal,” Carrie smiled.

The exuberant CEO said while there are several gorgeous pieces in store, she will leave the best for other brides-to-be.

On the stand (complete with wedding dresses) will be Lifeline Canberra ambassadors, including two-time Invictus Games gold medalist Ben Farinazzo, Canberra Cavalry mascot ‘Sarge’ Josh Williams, Paralympian Sarah Walsh and the fastest Australian woman in the 100m sprint, Melissa ‘Mel’ Bréen.

Visitors are encouraged to slip into their purchased dresses. Then, when the clock strikes three, the first Lifeline Bride Stride begins.

“It’s a one-minute straight sprint on Thoroughbred Park racecourse in full wedding attire.

“We hope businesses and individuals will sign up and join Lifeline for a great cause,” Carrie said. “Those who sign up can raise funds in their friendship circles, workplaces and communities to support them in their run.”

Along with Lifeline’s Winter Solstice Nude Charity Bath, the bride’s stride is one of many original ideas that aim to “shade the conversation about mental illness.”

“Only by reducing the stigma will we see an increase in the number of people seeking help,” Carrie said.

“What resonates with one person may not resonate with another. What we are dealing with is serious, but it is an uplifting way to talk about it. Often there are members of our community who have never, never will, struggle with mental illness, but these conversations need to happen anyway.

“When mental illness strikes, you have to be ready to have that conversation anytime, anywhere.”

The onset of the pandemic caused an increase from 2,500 calls per day to 3,500 daily calls to Lifeline. In addition, the number of calls has steadily increased over the past six months.

“Nationally, we’ve seen the biggest percentage growth in demand for crisis support coming from Canberrans,” Carrie said. “There is a very clear indication that our community is looking for help.

“The main reasons people call are relationship breakdowns and isolation.”

She noted that this is in line with Australia as a whole. “It reflects what is happening in the wider community, reeling from Covid and isolation.

“However, we have seen an increase across the board, with calls around suicide, self-harm and child safety all of which is very concerning.

“At Lifeline, we strive to answer every call and be with someone when they find the courage to pick up the phone. We are here 24/7.

“Outside of the crisis helpline, we’re trying to rebuild the community bond after it was damaged during the pandemic and reimagining what it looks like now.

“It has become very clear throughout Covid that individuals lack the skills to identify signs of mental illness in themselves, nor the knowledge of what to do next,” Carrie said.

“It’s not an insult to the community; the situation we found ourselves in was unprecedented. We strive to meet the huge increase in demand for our training courses.

“By normalizing mental illness in different settings, people will feel more comfortable engaging with it, and individuals will be able to reach out without fear of being judged.”

To register for Lifeline Bride Stride, donate or become a Lifeline Canberra volunteer, visit lifelinecanberra.org.au

Registration for the event is $26, the cost to answer a life-changing call. All proceeds raised will go directly to local crisis support.

” Everyone can participate. Come, have fun and support.

Browse hundreds of brand new dresses donated to the Lifeline Canberra stand at the Canberra Bridal Show, Thoroughbred Park on Sunday August 28 from 10am-3pm; Canberra Bride Stride at 3 p.m.

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