Aiding the community to be disaster ready

Some of the Capricornia region’s most vulnerable people will now be more disaster ready thanks to the Carinity Community Recovery Challenge.

Four community groups based in Rockhampton, Yeppoon and Emu Park were gifted emergency first aid kits to provide to their homeless and at-risk clients.

Almost 250 first aid kits have be shared between the Yeppoon Community Centre, St Brendan’s College’s Eddie’s Van, Food Relief Capricorn Coast, and the St Vincent de Paul Society Housing and Homelessness Program.

Carinity Education Rockhampton Principal Lyn Harland presents a first aid kit to Joseph Pickett from Eddie's Van
Carinity Education Rockhampton Principal Lyn Harland presents a first aid kit to Joseph Pickett from Eddie’s Van.

Each 40-piece first aid kit contains an emergency blanket, safety vest, torch, first aid information booklet and items for treating injuries.

The first aid kits have been donated to the local organisations by the Community Recovery Challenge, an initiative of Carinity Education Rockhampton.

Carinity Education Rockhampton Principal Lyn Harland says the school wished to support and positively impact “people within our community who are most vulnerable.”

“These four organisations provide vital services to people in need and are amongst the important places where our donation can have the greatest impact for our community,” Lyn says.

Elizabeth O’Connor, Area Manager for Housing and Homelessness at St Vincent de Paul Society, welcomed the donation of first aid kits which she says are “just one way of supporting individuals with self-determination”.

She says the kits will be distributed to around 35 clients of a homestay program which supports people to maintain housing tenancies from Yeppoon to Gladstone, including Biloela and Moura.

“When people face challenging times, affordability of basic first aid necessities will most reasonably be low on the priority list,” Elizabeth says.

“Access to basic first aid necessities can make a real difference to families in their time of need and potentially negate the need for calling emergency services or emergency department presentation for minor injuries.”

Carinity Education Rockhampton, an independent school at Glenlee, received $140,000 in disaster recovery funding to run Community Recovery Challenge activities and programs over the past 12 months.

Activities were designed to help build resilience in the Livingstone Region, including supporting local communities to recover following natural disasters.

Carinity Education Rockhampton Principal Lyn Harland with recipients of the first aid kits
Lyn Harland with representatives of the community organisations which were gifted first aid kits.

Activities included yoga and wellness classes, community art projects, survival skills training, mental health education, suicide prevention activities, therapy dog training, and songwriting workshops for those overcoming adversity.

Lyn says donating the first aid kits ensured those who had not attended Community Recovery Challenge events were still able to be supported and “be made aware of the importance of being disaster aware and prepared”.

“After devastating natural disasters such as fires, floods and cyclones, communities find their strength in banding together, becoming one in support of each other and their community,” Lyn says.

“The Community Recovery Challenge has helped to connect local people and community groups in places like Yeppoon, Keppel Sands, Byfield, Glenlee, The Caves, Cawarral and Emu Park.”

Dave Mazzaferri, Local Disaster Coordinator for Livingstone Shire Council, says: “Livingstone Shire has had its fair share of disasters from cyclones, floods, storms and bushfires. The building of community resilience is vital for our community to face the possibilities of future events.

“Recovery and resilience should be community led considering the values and, culture and priorities of the community.

“Working with Carinity highlights this approach and also builds strong relationships between communities and those involved.”

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