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The rev-head retirees fighting loneliness through motorbikes

Get your motor runnin’, head out on the highway. Lookin’ for adventure and whatever comes your way.

<p>Probus was established 46 years ago in Australia, with over 1,450 Clubs in all States and Territories. (Source: Patrick Hamilton)</p>

Probus was established 46 years ago in Australia, with over 1,450 Clubs in all States and Territories. (Source: Patrick Hamilton)

Key points:

  • Recent findings show that 46 percent of Aussies aged 65 or older felt they lacked companionship
  • Highest rates of emotional loneliness were in those 75 years or older
  • Black Dog Ride was established in 2009, with a focus on depression and suicide awareness

 

Global not-for-profit community organisation, Probus South Pacific Limited, which provides retirees with a community-oriented social network, is teaming up with motorcycling mental health charity Black Dog Ride (BDR) to combat loneliness.

For many, the pandemic is still a lingering and harrowing emotional burden — furthering something which Probus and BDR have long fought against, as the two collectives team up to raise mental health awareness. Older Australians can improve their psychological well-being through socialising and this new partnership heralds an amazing initiative.

For the past 14 years, BDR has operated as a cross-country motorcycling ride, getting thousands of cyclists to rev their engines and traverse the nation, whilst raising millions for mental health and suicide awareness. Probus’ mission coincides with the community involvement and the joint effort between collectives will hopefully encourage older people to take to the streets and win back some of that social engagement. 

Lawson Dixon, General Manager of BDR says the team are proud to be collaborating with Probus, as the motorcycling charity has always created and supported opportunities to build important social links for riders, community members and community groups.

“By working together, we can positively impact the lives of older Australians, helping facilitate meaningful connections with like-minded people,” he says.

Probus offers a wide range of activities, including outings, trips and interest groups, encouraging members to become and stay engaged. Clubs meet monthly and host a variety of guest speakers to interest, educate and fascinate members.

Probus Chairperson Judith Maestracci can put the pedal to the metal on a snazzy motorcycle. (Source: Patrick Hamilton)

Probus Chief Executive Officer, Silvana Martignago says retirees often focus on their financial well-being in retirement and give little thought to their social well-being, which is where the group comes in, as a means of providing social support. 

“We are very grateful to BDR for their support as we continue to benefit older Australians with social connections and activities. There are already thousands of Probus Club members across Australia enjoying fun and friendship and we invite everyone who is retired or semi-retired to discover Probus today,” says Mrs. Martignago.

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