Hunter corporates announce drought support for local farmers

Hunter corporates announce drought support for local farmers

A group of eight Hunter-based organisations have collaborated to provide over $100,000 in funding to assist the region’s farming community as they battle with the ongoing drought.

The group known as the Hunter Corporate Collaborative (HCC) will work in partnership to provide support and services to assist those most affected by drought conditions in the Upper Hunter local government areas of Singleton and Muswellbrook through two key initiatives.

Upper Hunter Community Services (UHCS) Counselling and Laundry Facilities will use the funding to implement a free counselling support service for individuals and families of the Upper Hunter where mental health and wellbeing are being impacted by drought. In addition, they will provide a place for impacted families and individuals to attend to their laundry needs in a setting that provides an opportunity to interact with other community members and UHCS staff.

Singleton Neighbourhood Centre (SNC) will provide support to farming families, endeavouring to develop diversified off-farm income to supplement their farming activities. The aim is to provide a series of workshops focused on training in basic business and marketing operations so that participants gain the knowledge and practical skills to successfully diversify their income.

Grace McLean, CEO and Founder of NFP Connect, the organisation behind the HCC initiative, said she is proud to see key members of the Hunter’s corporate community come together to assist those across the region struggling with such devastating conditions.

“The initiatives funded through the Hunter Corporate Collaborative are both extremely worthwhile in their approaches to support drought affected individuals and families on both a holistic and practical level,” Grace said.

“The programs are focused on connecting families facing similar experiences. This will assist individuals to get the help they need presently, but also help link them with local services and support organisations that can provide sustained support until conditions on the land start to improve.”

Organisations involved in the Hunter Corporate Collaborative include Beyond Bank Australia Foundation, Glencore Coal Assets Australia Pty Ltd, Greater Charitable Foundation, Hunter Water, nib foundation, NFP Connect, Port Waratah Coal Services and Sparke Helmore Lawyers.

Sue Milton, General Manager from Upper Hunter Community Services, said the HCC funding is important in giving life to programs focused on the welfare of farming families.

“We have seen an increase in demand for mental health and wellbeing support channels in our dealings with farming families over the past 12 months. Not only is this need increasing, but the flow on effect will be felt long after the drought ends,” Sue said.

“We are so pleased to see the community spirit of organisations that form the Hunter Corporate Collaborative coming to the fore to support people on the land who are doing it tough.”

IMAGE | Eight Hunter-based organisations have come together to form the Hunter Corporate Collaborative to support the region’s farming community.

NFP Connect

NFP Connect was created by Grace McLean in Newcastle NSW in 2001 and provides education, networking opportunities and shared experience for people in the local not for profit and charity sector as well as those in private enterprise and small business. The organisation also provides a key network for charities and not-for-profits by creating meaningful and strategic alliances that help grow the local community.

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