20,000kg of support goes to Lismore from Newcastle

The first load of a whopping two tonne stockpile of items donated by Hunter locals has arrived in Lismore as the community gets on with the job of flood recovery.

Filled to the brim with clothing and other essentials by Lifeline staff, the truck left Carrington yesterday and arrived at Lismore Showground before the day was out.

Lifeline put the call out in March for locals to donate what they could as the flooding emergency unfolded.

The donations of clothing, shoes, belts, towels, sheets, doonas and blankets from hundreds of locals and several businesses filled more than 120 pallets.

Lifeline’s Retail Manager for the Hunter and Northern Rivers, Michael Kats said the items are being sent to Lismore now that further flooding has subsided and there is space to store and distribute the donated goods. Lifeline lost its Northern Rivers’ warehouse and three shops in the floods.

“Other communities also donated clothing, so we held back our delivery until some local people had started to get back into their homes or more stable accommodation and were able to store and use the items,” Michael Kats said.

“The need for items as well as mental health support is ongoing,” he said.

Newcastle Permanent is funding the costs of transporting the items to the community distribution centre at Lismore, which Lifeline is volunteering to manage on behalf of the local council and other relief agencies. More than 50 Newcastle Permanent employees volunteered to help Lifeline volunteers to sort and box up the donated items.

Newcastle Permanent’s chief customer experience officer Paul Juergens was one of the employees who volunteered to sort clothing.

He has been on the ground in Lismore too as the building society sought to get its branches back up and running and support customers.

“This amazing donation from Hunter people is part of the significant recovery effort that continues,” Paul Juergens said.

To donate to Lifeline to help it continue to support the mental health and well-being of flood impacted communities visit NorthernNSW.lifeline.org.au

Lifeline is also urging anyone who continue to struggle to cope with the ongoing impacts of the flood emergency, whether they live in a flood affected community or not, to call 13 11 14.