Jules Lawson arrives on the banks of the Clarence at Grafton at night as she completes a journey down the river to raise money for Headspace.
Jules Lawson arrives on the banks of the Clarence at Grafton at night as she completes a journey down the river to raise money for Headspace. Adam Hourigan

SMALL BOAT: How one woman's journey will help our youth

SHE has sailed the waters of the Mediterranean and Hong Kong in her dinghy, but when Jules Lawson decided to go on a trip down a big river in a small boat, the Clarence called to her.

Making the journey from the mouth of the Clarence, first by kayak, and now by sailing dinghy, Ms Lawson called into Grafton under the cover of darkness on Saturday night, and will continue on her journey towards Yamba later this week.

"It's an amazing river. It's so diverse. Every bit of it is so different, the scenery and the landscape, and the people I've met have been so friendly."

Ms Lawson is using the trip to fundraise to raise money for youth mental health organisation Headspace, and to create a youth sailing program at her home in Sydney's Northern Beaches that will aim to cut the youth suicide rate in NSW.

"What I hope to do is not only highlight the need for all the community to help our troubled teens, but also enable them to get out on the water. There's just something special about mucking about in boats that I think could make all the difference to someone in the depths of depression."

"The money I raise will go towards running an on the water event and developing an ongoing program to introduce teens struggling with their mental health to the benefits of sailing and other water sports."

Donations can be made to the GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/bigriversmallboat



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