Sandra Moran at the second annual Ride4Life Gladstone Show and Shine Suicide Awareness Ride, held at GPC Marina Parklands.
Sandra Moran at the second annual Ride4Life Gladstone Show and Shine Suicide Awareness Ride, held at GPC Marina Parklands.

How losing her son inspired Bay mum’s mission to help others

A HERVEY Bay mum, who lost her son to suicide, is fighting to help people in drought-stricken communities from meeting the same fate.

In November last year Sandra Moran, who runs Jaie's Journey in her son's name, attended the monthly meeting of the Mundubbera Suicide Prevention Network.

"During the meeting the discussion went around on how difficult many families were having with basic needs, such as food and fuel, with the impact of the drought on the North Burnett region," she said.

"I'd ridden my bike out there after work the evening before and rode home early the next morning.

(FRONT) Ben Sander and Mark Brooks from Ride 4 Life with Sandra Moran from Jaie's Journey, are looking forward to the Ride 4 Life event at the end of February. (BACK) Ride participants Steve Naude, Vaughn Crane, John Lesyk, Juwan Eggmolesse, Nick Trost and Charlie and Jody Russell.
(FRONT) Ben Sander and Mark Brooks from Ride 4 Life with Sandra Moran from Jaie's Journey, are looking forward to the Ride 4 Life event at the end of February. (BACK) Ride participants Steve Naude, Vaughn Crane, John Lesyk, Juwan Eggmolesse, Nick Trost and Charlie and Jody Russell.

"During the ride it struck me how simple things, we the town people, take for granted.

In the North Burnett, it's a huge trip if people want to buy bulk items for their families, if they are able to afford that.

"So Christmas hampers were an obvious choice to support the community.

"From this point, I mentioned it to a few people around the Bay and Maryborough and people began offering support.

"Facebook had people donating gift cards, food items, children's toys and even cash donations from businesses."

Fraser Coast businesses dug deep to support rural families.

Scotty's Mad About Meats made a donation worth about $800 and Eat at Dan & Steph's matched that donation.

It all went to the Mundubbera Suicide Prevention Network, which then added a $100 IGA gift card to each hamper.

"Scotty also donated the use of his refrigerated ute to transport the hampers to Mundubbera," Ms Moran said.

WE SEE YOU: Amanda Marchant (MPSN), Nikki Briggs (MSPN) Barney Mauger (MSPN), and Sandra Moran (Jaie's Journey) giving out Christmas hampers to farmers. Picture: Contributed.
WE SEE YOU: Amanda Marchant (MPSN), Nikki Briggs (MSPN) Barney Mauger (MSPN), and Sandra Moran (Jaie's Journey) giving out Christmas hampers to farmers. Picture: Contributed.

"After the hampers were delivered, I promised the Mundubbera SPN I would try my best to support them and assist where I could.

"I found a grant on offer through the Queensland Government Drought Relief for the area and applied for it with two other regions.

"I also found another grant offered by the Mental Awareness Foundation and I submitted an application for this grant, to try and help our North Burnett friends."

Ms Moran received $10,000 worth of funding from the Mental Awareness Foundation.

Jaie's Journey secured a further $3600 for the Livingstone Shire in central Queensland.

"We will be doing another hamper run just before Christmas and supporting a Christmas fete," Ms Moran said.

"We will be reaching out to other towns in the region to see if there's some way we can support them with the funds."

Ms Moran lost her son Jaie, 22, in 2014 when he was living and working in Rockhampton.

* Do you need help? Contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.

Sandra Moran from Hervey Bay with a photo of her son Jaie who committed suicide. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Sandra Moran from Hervey Bay with a photo of her son Jaie who committed suicide. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle