Fourteen local women who’ve faced a range of life challenges have completed one of the biggest challenges of their lives – a 70km, 4-day, 3-night trek through the Mornington Peninsula.
The Women’s Spirit Project trek is the highlight of a free, 14-week program designed to empower women and transform their lives.
Founded by Frankston South resident Jodie Belyea with the support of a dozen local business, community and healthcare workers, the new, cutting-edge program has been developed to improve women’s mental and physical health at the grassroots level.
Women’s Spirit Project participant Simone Morley said she was thrilled to have finished the trek.
“I feel like I can accomplish anything. I feel connected and whole,” she said, minutes after finishing the trek.
“Before joining the project, I was lost. I have lived with mental health issues most of my life and three years ago I had a major relapse. When I heard about the project, I nearly didn’t apply. But I’m so glad I did.”
The 14 participants completed the walk with another 14 Women’s Spirit Project supporters and mentors.
The group began walking last Thursday, May 2, from near Overport Park in Frankston South. They were cheered on by representatives of the project’s sponsors, as well as family and friends.
The group walked more than 20km each day through wind, rain and sunshine, completing the trek on Sunday morning at the Cape Schanck Lighthouse. They were greeted on Sunday morning with a morning tea organised by Frankston’s Nairm Marr Djambana (Frankston Gathering Place).
The women will celebrate their achievement with family, friends, supporters and sponsors at a special event in Frankston on June 2. “We would like to thank all our sponsors, all those who voted for our Pick My Project campaign and everyone who donated money via our Go Fund Me page”, said Jodie.
“This is just the beginning of a new movement aimed at helping women take control of their lives,” she said.