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A private ice cream class with Frugii’s John Marshall, a night in a tiny house at a winery and vouchers for Chairman and Yip, Lanterne Rooms and Zaab Street Food…

These are just some of the lush prizes you could scoop in an upcoming silent auction to raise funds for mental health support.

Raising funds for Headspace, a charity that focuses on youth mental health, the Amelia’s Mission for Mental Health auction has been created by Canberra food blogger Amelia Bidgood (pictured) of Eat Canberra to raise much-needed funds for this vital service.

The auction has come about as part of Amelia’s participation in new reality TV show—All Star Adventures.

Billed as a “travel show with a difference”, All Star Adventures combines entertainment with philanthropy, with the hope that the participant’s journies will influence viewers to be more giving in their own lives.

Cast members must raise a minimum of $10,000 for their nominated charity before being whisked away to a secret location for their adventure. For Amelia, Headspace was an obvious choice in these challenging times.

“Raising awareness about mental illness and mental health are two of the many things that are close to my heart,” she says.

“It has been a challenging year and life is challenging at the best of times. Everything that happens in life impacts our mental health and if we don’t have the support and tools to help us look after our mental health, that’s when the real problems start. Unfortunately, mental illness is a silent killer, unlike a physical illness or broken bone, you can’t see it.”

Amelia Bidgood.

Amelia also adds that Headspace’s unique focus on 12-25-year-olds is important given that many young people are experiencing such a huge shift so early in their lives due to COVID, without the coping skills they might need.

“More than 75% of mental health issues develop before a person turns 25,” says Amelia. “I think it’s such an important organisation and if more young people were able to access support from a young age, it would help give them a brighter future because they would be equipped with the tools and support they need to deal with the challenges life throws at them.”

So, how can you help support this important work? Well, you can eat. And drink. And have a wonderful time, all while donating to charity. That doesn’t sound too hard, does it?

Amelia’s silent auction will take place from 23-26 August and all bids can be made ‘silently’ online. As for the prizes, there’s something for everyone.

“There’s everything from a bouquet of 12 salami sticks and a hamper filled with Canberra region produce from Canberra-based Urban Providore Australia to a private ice cream making class with the amazing John Marshall from Frugii Dessert Laboratory,” says Amelia.

There are also truffle products from TruffleMEN®, a 6-course intimate fine-dining experience at the newly launched Table by Canberra Gourmet for eight people with matching wines from Lark Hill, and gift vouchers to Chairman and Yip, Lanterne Rooms and Zaab Street Food respectively.

Amelia also adds that for sweet tooths, there are a cupcake and cookie pack from Lulu & Sis and a $200 cake voucher from Sharon May’s Cake. And, for those wanting an accessible and COVID-safe getaway, there’s even a night at the Little George tiny house at Lake George Winery, with a bottle of wine from Lake George Winery.

But that’s not all. There are also packages from Myogen—who specialise in soft tissue therapy, sports massage, remedial massage and strength and conditioning services for active people—and beginner stand up paddleboarding lessons from SUP CBR for when the weather warms up.

As one of Canberra’s resident foodies, these prizes are close to Amelia’s heart. Coming from a foodie family in Queensland, Amelia describes an upbringing where food and hospitality were a huge focus—and a source of joy for her and her family.

“Food has always been a really big part of my life…I started Eat Canberra as a creative outlet to combine my love of food and experience in journalism and communications while helping others to find out more about Canberra and the region’s food and beverage scene.”

“In 2017 I launched Eat Canberra Food Tours, the offline guide to Canberra and the regions food and beverage scene, and Canberra’s only dedicated food tour company. Since then, we’ve taken more than 1,000 international, national and local foodies on food tours and have had people tell us they would move to Canberra after coming on one of our tours!”

But while Amelia hopes that many Canberrans find similar culinary joys in their winnings, the real prize will be the money raised for Headspace.

“I’ve fought my own [mental health] battles and many people I know have, or know someone who has too,” she says.

“But I think there’s still so much stigma attached to it, and if I can help even one person seek some help then my mission is complete.”


What: Amelia’s Mission for Mental Health
When: 23-26 August
Where: bit.ly/ameliabidgoodheadspace


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