The Positive Vibes Foundation has teamed up with The Hills UPMarket to add a new kind of stall to the popular community event.

Started in 2015 by two Glenhaven mums keen to provide a friendly venue for people to gather, chat and browse The Hills Upmarket has grown to over 60 market stalls.

The monthly Upmarket is open again this Sunday, September 27, but at a new venue, Castle Hill Showground and with its new charity partner, the Positive Vibes Foundation which was set up to remove the stigma of mental illness and to promote mental well-being.

PVF Director Mario Rodrigues said the markets were dog-friendly and The Positive Vibes Foundation recognised the importance of dogs to all round mental health wellbeing.

“To us it seemed a really good fit as we have our own annual dog event.”

The Hills Upmarket founders, Anne Nasr and Jasmin Barkby are both dog lovers.

Their first market was held one Sunday five years ago in the carpark of a Glenhaven restaurant in a bid to showcase local businesses and produce.

As it grew bigger it moved to Castle Hill Pony Club off Gilbert Road where it ran for over three years.

Anne said the whole idea behind Upmarket is to provide a relaxed and interesting setting. “It’s been wonderful to get the community together and promote local businesses, have a coffee, walk the dog, there was a really good vibe going before COVID hit.”

She said Sunday’s market (Sept. 27) will be COVID-safe. “We are encouraging people to walk to the markets for a bit of dog therapy.”

Mario Rodrigues said: “Our (PVF) stall will have information on mental health and services available and we will have a medical professional to answer questions.

“Collaborating with UPmarket is in line with PVF’s mantra of Communities Connections Conversation.

“Both our organisations share common themes and objectives:

• we want to advance the Hills District community’s wellbeing through programs and events;

• proactively promote community engagement and participation in lifestyle and wellness activities with particular focus on mental health;

• and remove the stigma associated with mental illness.

• Most importantly, we both have a passion for dogs as companions to help with our mental wellbeing – Coco (our mascot) will be there.”

The market will be held at Castle Hill Showground between 9am and 2pm Sunday, September 27.

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