STRATFORD resident and nurse Lauren Slayford has worked in a variety of healthcare roles, and has seen first hand the power that education, support and compassion can have on improving the lives of disadvantaged children in the community.
Teaming up with well-known domestic violence advocate Rosie Batty, Lauren and eight others will embark on a six-day trek across the rugged and stunning terrain of the Overland Track in Tasmania this month, raising money to support children recovering from the trauma of abuse and violence.
Under the banner of the Australian Childhood Foundation, the participants are self-funding their passage and stay in Tasmania, and donating all money raised to the foundation.
Lauren, who has already walked the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory for charity, said the fundraiser was a great opportunity to work on her own wellbeing while doing something for others.
To prepare her for the challenge, she has been walking around Stratford with a heavy pack strapped to her back, and admits she has been getting some pretty strange looks.
“I probably look pretty funny, but it’s a gruelling trek so getting my fitness levels up is important,” she said.
“But apart from the physical endurance required, it’s a great way to help others and meet a bunch of like-minded people who want to do something for the community.”
The trip includes trekking with a full pack of supplies (14 to18 kilograms) for six days across the beautiful Overland Track, traversing the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.
The Australian Childhood Foundation is a national not-for-profit organisation, supporting children to recover from the trauma of abuse and violence.
It provides specialist therapeutic support to help children heal and feel safe, as well as educating and empowering communities to safeguard children from abuse.
Lauren said the foundation existed to protect children and restore childhood through relationships that guided, supported and had the power to help children heal, aiming to reduce the impact of trauma by building communities where children were in safe and loving relationships, free from abuse and violence.
Lauren must raise at least $3500, and has started a Facebook page called ‘Loz Treks for childhood’, which will have updates about her training and fundraising events.
Rosie Batty is the Australian Childhood Foundation patron, a domestic violence campaigner and 2015 Australian of the Year.
To help Lauren raise money to support children, go to acftrekforchildhood2021.gofundraise.com.au/page/Lauren-25624696.