Tree of Dreams™ Grows in 2017
The Tree of Dreams™ , which aims to generate conversation around mental well-being and suicide on the Central Coast, expanded significantly in 2017, with local people and businesses warmly embracing the project.
Proudly situated at the Wyong Milk Factory site, the Tree of Dreams™ represented an opportunity to contribute a note of love, a message of strength, a dream and hope of a brighter day. For some, hand-written tags adorning the tree were a memorable way to acknowledge and pay tribute to those they have lost.
Major support came from Wyong Milk Factory, Wyong Rugby League Club Group, Radio 2GO & SeaFM and from Wyong Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank. Tags were sold via outlets and online from August 18, culminating on September 10 – World Suicide Prevention Day.
Local businesses and community including Wyong Community Bank Branch of Bendigo bank, Trendpac, Helloworld Travel Erina Group, Wyong Christian Community School, Emma McBride MP and Breakthru also jumped on board to sponsor baskets of tags, allowing hundreds of young people to share messages of hope and solace.
A reception and tree-lighting ceremony for supporters of the project was held on September 7. A plaque was unveiled as a permanent reminder of the Tree’s significance. The Tree of Dreams™ shone spectacularly against the night sky as local musician Wendy Gill sang her song, Hymn for Life, that she had penned specifically for the event.
The project created a positive ripple of hope, connectedness and community support and helped to raise funds for the Iris Foundation to continue its work in the prevention of suicide.
It is our intent that the Tree of Dreams™ will become a yearly memorable tradition on the Central Coast.
What our supporters said:
Wyong Christian Community School
Our school was honoured to be a part of the Tree of Dreams™ project. Both our students and staff were involved by writing messages of support and encouragement on the tags. The project was a positive opportunity for our staff to speak with students about the effects of suicide and ways that we can support each other and build others up. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to participate in this project.
– Jess Crocombe
Phoenix Youth Support Service
Phoenix Youth Support Service would like to thank the supporting businesses that gave many young people the opportunity to write message tags for the Tree of Dreams™.
Sadly, a great deal of these youth have been personally touched by suicide in varying ways and, indirectly, this initiative gave a little closure to them.
These are the opportunities you just can’t buy.
– Chris Dryden
Wyong Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank
Wyong Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank was proud to be associated with the 2017 Tree of Dreams™, by making message tags available for purchase in our Wyong branch. From collecting customer’s messages of love and hope, it was very powerful to see the bright, colourful tags on display on the tree. Having the tags in our branch was an opportunity to raise the topic of suicide prevention with our customers. We were touched by the many stories shared by our customers affected in some way by suicide, and it was a great opportunity to promote the good work done by the Iris Foundation in our local community.
We were touched and honoured to be invited to share in the sensitive and meaningful ceremony for the official lighting of the Tree of Dreams™ at the Milk Factory.
Congratulations to all of the organisers for a successful event.
– Mark Cooper, Manager