By Jim Hungerford, CEO of The Shepherd Centre
The current bushfire season is unprecedented and continues to cause tremendous devastation across Australia.
From myself and the whole team at The Shepherd Centre, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank our emergency services community, those caring for our precious wildlife and any volunteers working on the frontline or behind-the-scenes, who are coming together to help their fellow Australians in this time of need.
We must also acknowledge that these bushfires are traumatising for everyone.
We know that many of our families have been directly impacted by the bushfires. If you are worried about your child or your ability to attend sessions, please contact us on [email protected] or (02) 9370 4400 to talk about how we can help.
We can change how we provide services during this difficult time, and we can also assist with financial assistance towards transport, resources and materials for your child, as well as link you in with tailored and specific support in your local area.
This extra support has been funded by our generous donors who as always want to ensure every child receives the help they need. If you are one of these wonderful donors, thank you.
If you or a family member, would benefit from additional support we encourage you to reach out to:
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Online Crisis Support Chat (available nightly at www.lifeline.org.au)
- Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
- Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Online resources can be found at Headspace How to cope with the stress of natural disasters for young people and some great free online books for children in different languages by the Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, Birdie stories.
NSW Health has several resources available for all of us dealing with bushfire conditions, such as poor air quality.
Disability Services Consulting has collated a great list of resources for people with a disability and/or are receiving support via NDIS, you can read more here.
If you are in a bushfire affected area and require audiology support, replacement batteries or hearing aids, Hearing Australia have set up an emergency Helpline 1800 826 500 available 8.30 am to 5.00 pm AEST, seven days a week.
It is truly inspiring to hear stories of mateship, survival and of so many generous individuals digging deep to help our fellow charities.
To find out how you can support the Australian bushfire efforts, head to ABC News for more information.
Let’s take care of this beautiful land in which we live and cherish the natural environment that surrounds us.