Bek Nash-Webster is not your typical social worker and uses her love of skateboarding to forge relationships within the community.
You can often find her in Benalla riding her skateboard to a meeting or just for fun.
She finds this to be a great ice-breaker, which can help her share her message and the goals of Benalla’s Place-Based Suicide Prevention Trial.
‘‘My role involves me having to get around Benalla, going to different meetings in different places,’’ Bek said.
‘‘Taking a car isn’t always practical, so I started riding my long-board.
‘‘What I’ve found is that it’s been a great conversation starter.
‘‘People will come up to me and ask why they see me on the board around Benalla and I’ll tell them that I use it to go to different meetings.
‘‘This then starts a conversation about what it is I do, and the importance of the Benalla Place-Based Suicide Trial.
‘‘Some stop me and say ‘what are you doing? You’ll break your neck’, which is also a good icebreaker, and then we can have a talk.
‘‘I also have people stopping me if I don’t have my skateboard and they ask where it is, and why I’m walking.
‘‘So riding my board around town is a different way to engage the community, and it seems to start a lot of conversations.’’
If you see Bek riding around Benalla and want to know more about the suicide prevention trial say hello and ask about the board.
Of course there are other ways to start a conversation with Bek, and you can catch her at [email protected] if you don’t see her on her skateboard.