By Renee Wood
Warburton residents are spreading love and hope through their town by placing hearts around the region.
It’s a ‘beating’ movement that first started with resident Amida Jones-Vermeend who wanted to remind her children and community that it’s still a world filled of love despite the difficult times from the Pandemic.
“I’ve been at home a lot with my young teenagers and for teenagers there is a real sense of a loss of hope, and a loss of heart, and feeling really down in themselves, so I felt like it was really important to come forward with a project that would open their eyes to the fact that other people care, that we can still care for each other, and get outside as well together,” Amida said.
“I sent out a message to my friends and family to say, ‘Hey, if you’re in nature put something out there to show others that you’re there and that you care.
“We originally started off using what we found around us, bark and leaves, and we did a few little mandalas in the sand and added flowers.”
Now it has taking on a heart of it’s own, as community members started to join in and use their skills to create hearts for the Warburton Community HeART Project.
Platypus Bend has been dubbed ‘Love Heart Lane’ where crocheted hearts and other crafted items have been displayed along the walk way as a reminder to lead with love and hope.
“It’s a beautiful thing that we don’t know who is doing it as well as us, it’s nice that people we’ve never met all feel the same.
“We can’t live in constant anger, anguish, pain and confusion. We have to eventually move into a place where we just have to love each other, no matter what happens we just have to keep coming back to that place, because at the moment, there is a lot of pain.”
Amida hopes the love bombing will help all of the community but especially the younger generation who may be struggling to see past current challenges.
“I know that there are a lot of 13 to 14 year olds struggling as well, it’s very much a high risk age. They’re not kids, they’re not adults, they’re in between and they haven’t got the social skills yet to feel like they belong or where they belong.”
Everyone’s encouraged to reach out and talk to someone about how they’re feeling.
“We just have to pick up the phone or talk to a friend or get out of our house, that’s the main message with this.”
If you or someone you know needs support, call Lifeline 13 11 14, Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or Yarra Ranges Youth Services 9294 6716.