Blacktown City’s Bushfire Appeal helping victims to rebuild

Blacktown City's Bushfire Appeal helping victims to rebuild

From Batemans Bay to the Blue Mountains, from Moss Vale to Moruya, the generosity of Blacktown City’s residents is helping dozens of bushfire victims around NSW to rebuild their lives.

The Blacktown City Council Bushfire Appeal raised nearly $90,000 to go directly to victims of the 2019/2020 bushfires.

The funds generously raised by Blacktown City locals have enabled the donation of practical goods to bushfire-affected individuals across NSW.

Council has teamed up with charity organisations GIVIT and Step by Step to ensure these necessary supplies, household goods, and vouchers make their way to those who need them.

Funds raised in the Blacktown City Council Bushfire Appeal have enabled the donation of items including water tanks and filters, a high-pressure water transfer pump, water replenishment vouchers, wheelbarrows, rakes, and shovels, a fridge-freezer, shed-building material, new tyres, a queen bed, electric blankets and quilts, a washing machine, microwaves, a vacuum cleaner, a laptop, an outdoor umbrella, and gift cards/vouchers.

These items have been provided to people around NSW in areas including Batemans Bay, Bellangry, the Blue Mountains, Forbes River, the Hawkesbury, Lithgow, Mogo, the Moss Vale region, Moruya, Narooma, the NSW Mid-Coast, Quaama, and Wingham.

Blacktown City Mayor, Tony Bleasdale OAM, said he was incredibly pleased to see the Bushfire Appeal funds turned into real-life assistance.

“While last summer’s bushfires might seem a lifetime ago after the year we’ve had, many communities around NSW are still living with the impact of the devastating fires,” Mayor Bleasdale said.

“The recovery process for some of these communities and inviduals will be slow and take a long time – and many have had to deal with the further blow of the effects of COVID-19.

“I want to assure these communities that we have not forgotten you. Blacktown City stands with you and supports you.”

Blue Mountains residents Dirk and Caroline Nelson are among those who have been given a helping hand through Council’s Bushfire Appeal.

The bushfires tore through their entire property in December, with a single shed the only building left standing.

Heavy rains then washed away the local public bridge and road that allowed them access to their remote property, and access was only restored several months later.

Blacktown City Council, along with Blue Mountains City Council, GIVIT and Step By Step came together with Katoomba Camping and Hardware Store to provide the Nelsons with camping gear.

The donated equipment, including tents and camping chairs, means the couple can stay on their property as they rebuild.

Mayor Bleasdale recently met Ms Nelson at a handover of the goods at Katoomba Camping and Hardware store.

“We were very grateful for the generosity of Blacktown City locals as the equipment allows us to be on site temporarily to aid us on the road to recovery,” Ms Nelson said.

Mayor Bleasdale was accompanied by Blue Mountains City Council Deputy Mayor, Chris Van der Kley, Step by Step Recovery Support Service Manager Anne Crestani and Bushfire Recovery Worker Ruth Myers, GIVIT NSW Engagement Officer Kirsty Bender, and Katoomba Camping and Hardware Store employee Mickie Szpytko.

Step by Step Bushfire Recovery Support Service is a partnership between Gateway Family Services and Resilience NSW to support to residents impacted by the fires.

GIVIT works with the NSW Joint Recovery Task Force to link requests for assistance for bushfire-affected families to donations of money, goods, and services.

Picture: (left to right): Step by Step Recovery Support Service Manager Anne Crestani, Mayor of Blacktown City, Tony Bleasdale OAM, Katoomba Camping and Hardware employee Mickie Szpytko, GIVIT NSW Engagement Officer Kirsty Bender, donations recipient Caroline Nelson, Blacktown City Council Director Corporate Services Wayne Rogers, Blue Mountains City Council Deputy Mayor, Chris Van der Kley, and Step by Step Bushfire Recovery Worker Ruth Myers.

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