Clarence Valley Independent

Veterans Health Week

The Osprey RSL Day Club members (in the background) enjoyed learning how to play croquet, during Veterans Health Week last week. Image: Lynne Mowbray

Lynne Mowbray

As part of Veterans Health Week 2019, the Osprey RSL Day Club of Yamba held a morning tea and croquet lesson, for their members last Friday, at the Bowlo Sports and Leisure Yamba.

The Department of Veterans Affairs – Veterans Health Week 2019 ran from 26 October – 3 November.

This year’s theme for Veterans Health Week was ‘Mental Wellness’.

It’s hoped that this theme will increase awareness and knowledge of available services and programs, to help maintain good mental health for our veterans.

Organisations such as the RSL Day Club, give our veterans the opportunity to get out the house and enjoy a social day out, where they can have a few laughs and a chat with new friends.

State co-ordinator for the NSW RSL Day Clubs Tom Barnsley of Yamba said that there are over 65 Day Clubs around the State and it’s his job to make sure that they are all running smoothly.

“I’m a Vietnam Veteran myself and I’ve been part of Day Clubs for over 20 years,” Tom said.

“It’s been great for veterans; it gives them a new outlook on life, and like me, they love coming and being a part of it.

“It’s good for them to do that for their own mental health.

“It’s open not just for veterans, but for the community as well and we’d love to see more people coming along.

“We’ve also got the Big River RSL Day Club operating in Grafton.

“Day Clubs are good stuff,” he said.

Veteran Col Morrison who has been attending the RSL Osprey Day Club at Yamba for a couple of years, said that for him, the best part of being a member of ‘Osprey’ is that you meet a lot of people and have a lot of fun.

“It gets me out of the house and I don’t have to cook and I don’t have to wash up, Col said.

“Getting out of the house has helped me and it’s been good for me; I’ve met a lot of people here and we’re all good friends.

“We have a lot of fun and I’d like to see other veterans join us,” he said.

Day Club member Shirley Pilley has been attending the Day Club for several years and said that the Day Club has been fantastic for people like her.

“I come from a big family and they are all scattered; so I’m on my own a lot,” Shirley said.

“At the Day Club we do activities that help you use your brain (like trivia etc) and you get to talk to people.

“I like this group because you can talk to the men and they’ve got a different aspect on things.

“If anyone’s sitting at home; get out of the house and come along. You get picked up at the door and dropped back to the door, so you don’t have to walk anywhere,” she said.

Leanne Christie is the co-ordinator of the Osprey Day Club in Yamba and her husband Paul is the bus driver for the club.

“At the moment we have around 45 members and new members are always welcome,” Leanne said.

“Around 20 of those are veterans – which is really good.

“It’s good to see that our numbers of men have gone up, as most of the time the men stay at home and it’s just the women that come.

“We meet every Friday at the Riverboat Room at the Yamba Bowling Club from 10am – 2pm. A typical day includes: mini bus pick up and drop off, morning tea, hot lunch, trivia, competitions games (eg card games etc), bingo, lucky door, raffles etc and cost all up for the day is $15,” she said.

For more information contact Leanne on: 0413 101 518

Shirley Pilley has been a member of the Yamba Osprey Day Club for several years. Image: Lynne Mowbray
Leanne and Paul Christie. Leanne is the co-ordinator for the Osprey RSL Day Club and husband Paul is the bus driver. IMage: Lynne Mowbray
State co-ordinator for RSL Day Clubs and Vietnam veteran, Tom Barnsley of Yamba. Image: Lynne Mowbray
Veteran Col Morrison. Image: Lynne Mowbray

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