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HALT – Hope Assistance Local Tradies

HALT aims to remind tradies they are valued by their community, and direct them to support services, both local and national, should they need them. HALT (Hope Assistance Local Tradies) works in conjunction with concerned community to host the ‘SAVE YOUR BACON’ Brekky.
In 2013 on a not so sunny day, a sad and tragic event affected the lives of two Castlemaine locals. A family lost a loved one, the community lost a valued member and we lost a friend. The ripple effect was huge.
A house painter and a visual artist asked themselves, what can we do to support our mates, our families and our partners in the trade industry who just aren’t coping? From that conversation began a community movement to support our men and women in the trade. An event to remind tradies they are valued by the community, and helping them to link into support services, for themselves and for their mates.
HALT (Hope Assistance Local Tradies) was born with the support of a concerned community, and went on to host the first ‘SAVE YOUR BACON’ Brekky in Castlemaine, November 2013, for those in the building industry. It all started early one morning in a timber yard of a local hardware store. Rotarians busy behind the BBQ cooking a breakfast of bacon and eggs, hot coffee brewing – all this thanks to the generosity of local companies and individuals. There was also fruit and pastries, and a free goodie bag for each tradie with freebies such as packets of coffee, sunscreen, chocolates and if you were lucky, a voucher for a dinner or a massage. Again everything generously donated by local businesses.
We know that social connection is always good for our mental health but it is the HALT bags that carry the important message to take home. Each bag contained information on well-being, and suicide prevention. There was information on how to manage stress, depression and anxiety, and importantly, where to go when you or a mate needs help. Material came from the local health services, as well as bigger national organizations such as Beyond Blue and Lifeline.
The SAVE YOUR BACON brekky’s have travelled across Victoria and to Wagga Wagga in New South Wales.
At last count HALT had held over 30 ‘Save your Bacon’ events in Hardware stores, secondary colleges, TAFE’s and private businesses.