Children living in rural and remote communities are up to five times more likely to have developmental challenges than those living in urban areas, and far greater difficulty receiving the services and support they need.
That's a statistic the Royal Far West organisation knows all too well. The charity provides health, education and disability services to children and their families in rural and remote communities, who otherwise wouldn't be able to access support.
It hopes that this year's major fundraiser, the Ride For Country Kids, can contribute $500,000 towards redressing the imbalance between opportunities available to country and city kids.
The ride, with 63 cyclists so far signed up, starts in Albury on Sunday, April 7, and will end two days and 450 kilometres later in Lake Cargelligo.
- Sunday, April 7: Albury to Wagga Wagga
- Monday, April 8: Wagga Wagga to West Wyalong
- Tuesday, April 9: West Wyalong to Lake Cargelligo
Among the group will be Royal Far West ambassador and father of a Royal Far West child, Nathan Taylor, who hopes to ensure other children receive the sort of support his family has received.
Nathan and the other riders will be dropping in to visit schools along the route, meet children and families who are currently supported by Royal Far West, and catch up with local alumni, friends and supporters.
Local residents are also welcome to say hello as the cyclists pass; anyone can show their support by donating to http://rideforcountrykids2019.gofundraise.com.au/
All funds raised will go Royal Far West programs to support country kids.
Royal Far West will also be hosting a series of free NDIS information sessions for families in need of support for children aged 2 to 12 with autism, developmental delay or intellectual disability. The sessions will be in the evenings of April 6 (Albury), April 7 (Wagga Wagga), April 8 (West Wyalong) and April 9 (Lake Cargelligo). To find out more, parents and carers can contact Fiona Phipps on 0422 411 613 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Australian Community Media, publisher of this website, is a media partner with Royal Far West.