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Robe to Recovery

The Robe community has instigated an innovative concept to support Australian Defence Force veterans.

“Robe to Recovery” supports veterans who have returned from active duty and need to begin to heal physical and psychological wounds.

Jacqui Bateman and returned vet Justin Brown have teamed up to organise stays of a few days of respite for returned veterans who may be struggling to fit back into civilian life after returning from deployment and discharging from the defence force.

Adelaide-based Justin knows who is likely to need support through his contacts in the Australian Defence Force.

WATCH: ABC TV Back Roads on “Robe to Recovery”

Many traders in Robe and the Robe Tourism Association members are involved.

“I went along to a RTA meeting and explained the concept to the members and asked for any support from the local businesses,” Jacqui said. “The response was amazing.

“I had local cafes and restaurants offering meal and coffee vouchers and other offers of bakery goods, seafood, ice-cream, wine, massages and art.

“Several accommodation providers offered a few days accommodation, the local dairy donating milk and cheese.

“The first veteran who came down with his family was totally overwhelmed.

“He was just expecting a weekend away but when he walked in and saw a gift basket containing a whole bunch of extras, he couldn’t believe it.”

Jacqui believes that handwritten notes from each of the donors to the visiting veteran – often something as simple as thanking them for their service – is the thing which makes the most impact.

Robe to Recovery gives Ex-Australian Army veteran Leith Bache a much-needed break

“They go away from the weekend knowing that people do care, that people appreciate what they have done for their country, and that the little town of Robe appreciates their service and sacrifice.”

“We are hoping to grow the program to where we have up to 12 families visiting each year.

“The response from the Robe business owners and community has been absolutely fantastic.”

“The opportunity to create a respite program for returning vets seemed like a good idea,” said Justin.

“Between Jacqui and myself we have made the program and the difference it has made to the veterans has been tremendously rewarding.

“We think that the program has on-going opportunities and benefits for the veterens.

“The Robe community have have been wonderful supporters.

“I would like to see the program replicated around the country.”

For more information on the Robe to Recovery program and to assists in some way call Jacqui on 0427 343132 or email jacqui@jacquibateman.com.au.

Text from https://www.coastalleader.com.au/story/4964806/robe-to-recovery/

Photo by Royston Rascals. Image has been cropped and colour saturation increased. Used under license https://www.flickr.com/photos/roystonrascals/

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