Several weeks on from the devastating Woorooloo and Hills areas fires which saw 86 homes destroyed and a further 200 homes damaged, the situation continues to be very raw for many.
Vinnies WA has been working with local councils and other lead agencies as part of the Emergency Relief Planning Committee overseeing the recovery process. Through the combined efforts of the Vinnies Midland Conference members and Andrew York, Vinnies
Executive Manager of Community Engagement Services, families whose homes were lost or damaged were able to receive immediate and direct support.
“Through the Midland’s Conference connection to the local community, we were able to deliver practical support such as fuel, grocery vouchers, and Vinnies clothing vouchers. Due to the timing of the bushfires, one of our priorities was getting kids impacted by their home loss ready for back to school. We were able to help a number of Primary and High school students with new backpacks and vouchers for school supplies so they could start their school year with comfort and confidence.” Andrew York said.
As the situation moves further into the recovery stage, people displaced by the tragedy face the slow road of returning to their everyday lives, but without the comfort and stability of their home. Community recovery and rebuilding can take anywhere from two to three months to years to complete. Andrew says that each person’s journey is different, and for some it’s simply too soon for them to address the enormity of the situation, and they will seek or accept assistance when they feel they are ready to do so.
“The practical support is important but being able to walk the journey over a longer period of time is what will help people heal. The support Vinnies can give and the way we deliver it can allow people to progress through their recovery, in their own time.”
Assisting with long term recovery
The Vinnies WA Bushfire Recovery Appeal was launched in February, solely dedicated to assisting people in their long-term recovery journey, with 100% of funds raised going directly to the people affected by the bushfires. Andrew, who himself has experienced losing a home to fire, understands the impact and emotional distress the situation can cause.
“The sense of loss and the displacement you feel is devastating. Making a financial donation to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal is the most effective contribution you can make so you can directly help families who may face homelessness, financial distress and even ongoing health issues as a result of the crisis. Donations can help us provide people with choice, flexibility and most importantly hope, as part of their long-term recovery.”
You can still donate to the Vinnies WA Bushfire Appeal by clicking HERE