Herd of Hope brings love from outback to city kids

Herd of Hope delivers outback charity to city kids

The taste of outback life is on its way to a group of city kids who experienced the loss of a loved one that went on to be an organ donor.

Rural organ transplant and donor family support charity Herd of Hope has organised for Undoolya Station in Alice Springs to host 11 youths from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide for a five day camp on the sprawling cattle property.

"Dust, dirt and a crackling campfire are sometimes all it takes to lift the world from your shoulders - and we hope these children, who have suffered unimaginable grief through the loss of a loved one who went onto become an organ donor, will feel that," said Herd of Hope founder Megan McLoughlin, herself a double transplant recipient.

Megan McLoughlin with her children Sam and Ella.

Megan McLoughlin with her children Sam and Ella.

The kids will experience horse riding, poddy calves, campfires, learning to cook for their family, how to use the stars to find your way around the bush, and all things involved with station life.

"We've found there is a huge gap in the services provided to kids, and no-one realised how organ donation can impact kids," Megan said.

"We wanted to show them that their loved one who became an organ donor, while those kids will see that person as a hero, there are a heap of people whose lives they saved that also see them as a hero."

The Herd of Hope charity is named for 30 Poll Hereford heifers donated by the Hayes family of Undoolya Station.

In March last year The Herd of Hope drove the first mob of cattle ever on Bondi Beach to raise funds and awareness for organ donation, and services for organ donor families and transplant recipients.

Megan said the camp at Undoolya would include hand-on horse therapy "which has proven to be amazing for grief" and counsellors would be on stand-by.

"It's back to the country roots," Megan said.

Undoolya Station at Alice Springs.

Undoolya Station at Alice Springs.

"We wanted the kids to be in an environment to grow their own herd, and meet kids who have been through a similar experience."

The May/June-2018 drop calves donated by the Hayes' are being auctioned to raise money for the charity, and the four of them were sold at Mount Compass, South Australia, cattle market in June.

The money has been put towards the camp.