Old mate Ray and fishing pal Mati inspire campaign

Old Mate Blog Feature

Image credit Mati Batsinilas

Remember our 75-year-old mate, Ray Johnstone and his 22-year-old fishing pal Mati Batsinilas?

In January of this year, Ray’s Gumtree ad for a fishing partner went viral and touched the hearts of Aussies of all ages. Ray’s ad was heartfelt and to the point “My name is Ray Johnstone Australian I’m a widowed pensioner who is looking for a fishing mate my previous fishing mate is now deceased…”.

Mati Batsinilas, a bloke that Ray described as “a lovely young man”, answered Ray’s Gumtree ad and paid for Ray to take a fishing trip with him in Queensland.

The story of Ray and Mati resonated with Spur Projects -who’ve created the ‘Old Mate’ campaign – to get young people to hang out with older Aussies. Lee Crockford, CEO of Spur Projects told Hack “Men aged 80+ suicide the most out of any age group in Australia… and it’s a statistic that’s not really spoken about at all.”

Mr Crockford hopes to change that, by urging young Australians to hang out with an older person in their life – for at least one hour a week. They’ve called the campaign ‘Old Mate’ and you can visit the site here: http://oldmate.org.au/

This is such a great campaign and if you feel you’d like to help an ‘Old Mate’ out; visit the site above, post an ad on Gumtree or encourage an ‘old mate’ to post on Gumtree today.

Click here to post a Gumtree ad and bring friendship into an older Aussie’s life.

Learn how to stay safe on Gumtree here

If you’re lonely and need help: call lifeline on 13 11 14.


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