R U Aware We Care campaign hits the road and heads out to the regions
A series of forums designed to assist farming families and small businesses affected by drought will be held at several locations across the region commencing next week.
The 'Family Farming and Small Business Forums' are an initiative that aims to support farmers and small business to navigate the drought with representatives from three tiers of government, community and non-government agencies all participating in the events.
To date the campaign has raised close to $80,000 in both monetary and in-kind donations through the support of campaign partners, the general public and local businesses. Funds raised are being distributed to those in need across the region by the Salvation Army.
Councillor Russell Webb said 'The forums will take the support networks and services out to the New England and the Northwest raising awareness of the resources available to support them through this difficult time.
'The R U Aware Campaign has raised significant awareness of our region's plight across both government and private sectors, and as a result, the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has confirmed he will attend the first forum in Attunga.
Some of the information available will be financial assistance, business and tax advice, mental health support, agricultural support and advice, employment services and animal welfare issues.
Some of the government agencies on site will be:
* Department of Jobs and Small Business
* Department of Human Services (Centrelink, social work, farm household officer, financial information services offices)
* Hunter New England Primary Health Network
* Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and the Department of Primary Industries (Rural Assistance Authority, Rural Resilience Program)
* Local Land Services
The Salvation Army will also be on site to provide support available through their range of services, and efforts of the appeal.
The forums will be held from 10am to 3pm at the following locations:
* Tuesday 7 August 2018, Attunga Hall, Attunga street
* Wednesday 8 August 2018, Narrabri RSL Club, 7 Maitland street
* Thursday 9 August 2018, Moree Services Club, Albert street
* Tuesday 14 August 2018, Inverell RSM Club, 68 Evans street
* Wednesday 15 August 2018, Glen Innes Services Club, 120 Grey street
* The forums form part of the R U Aware We Care campaign which aims to
raise awareness of the need for support for the region's farming community and provide direct relief to farming families.
* Several fundraising initiatives have also been held including a
Country Music concert, celebrity telethon, 'Farmer Friday' fundraisers and a celebrity grocery grab.
* All funds raised go directly to The Salvation Army, with a significant amount already distributed to those in need across the region.
* Farmers experiencing hardship should contact the Tamworth Salvation Army by text on 0408 990 883, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org in person at the Tamworth Salvation Army Corps.
* "R U Aware, We Care" is a joint initiative of 88.9FM and Tamworth
Regional Council with the support of Wests Entertainment Group, The Salvation Army, CWA, Tamworth Business Chamber and the NSW Farmers Association.
More information is available at www.ruawarewecare.com.au