Against the backdrop of a global COVID-19 pandemic the Australian Red Cross has been quietly helping families in fire affected communities rebuild their homes, their lives and providing mental health support.
In the last year and half 32,039 people through 604 psychosocial support activities including individual support, community events, support groups, and anniversary events. 2,846 people were supported with 168 recovery training and workshops. 975 people participated in 29 community resilience workshops.
“Red Cross weren’t just there to hand out money. They were there to listen… and that was really nice… They helped by making their grant process easy... Then we’d get phone calls from Red Cross, checking in on us. And all of that definitely helped us,” said Janet, who along with her young family lost their home in the Nambucca Valley, NSW.
“I’m glad we didn’t get the money all in one big hit or early, because we weren’t in the right headspace early on… we needed that time to just sit back, breathe, take in what’s just happened to us, and then work out a game plan.
“We used every cent that we received from Red Cross to get shelter… We would not have been able to do that without the help of Red Cross and people donating to them.
“Every day you’re reminded… even 12 months later, you go to get something and then you go, ‘Oh, that’s right. I’ve lost that in the fires.’ It brings up a lot of trauma, and it’s good to talk about it. We’ve been really lucky to have Red Cross. They were out here for so long, just to sit and chat.
“I was exhausted all the time. I feel like I still am. It’s like I still haven’t caught up. I’m still dealing with the fire stuff, and then I’ve had the storms and the flooding on top of COVID… it’s just been non-stop for almost two years.
“Red Cross are always there if you needed them... you see the red shirts with tea and coffee waiting for you, and I felt like that was a gentle approach. I’ve found that really good.”
To date, the Australian Red Cross has disbursed $224 million dollars in aid to victims of the bushfire crisis with a further $18 million allocated towards ongoing projects and grants.
“I am proud to be a part of an organisation that supports humanitarian causes like this,” says Martin Merrick, President and CEO, Volvo Group Australia. “To be able to see the progress and recovery of these communities due to the hard work of the Australian Red Cross is both rewarding and humbling.”
“At Volvo Group we often talk about shaping the world we want to live in, that doesn’t only extend to building clean, efficient vehicles, it’s also about supporting the communities that sustain us.”
“I look forward to seeing those rural and coastal communities devastated by this disaster, rebuild, recover and flourish in the future.”
For further information, please contact:
Matthew Wood – Strategic Projects and Communications Manager (Volvo Group Australia)
Mobile: +61 (0)436 681 117
About Volvo Group Australia
Volvo Group Australia is responsible for Mack, UD and Volvo truck brands within Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and the South Pacific Islands. Mack and Volvo Trucks proudly carry the Australian Made certification for trucks built at the local Wacol factory in Brisbane.
We provide complete transport solutions for professional and demanding customers, including complete solutions for financing and service. Over 1300 people are employed by Volvo Group Australia across the country, with over 90 suppliers also benefitting from local production. Volvo Group boasts the largest dealer network in Australia and New Zealand with service points across the country giving access to metropolitan and regional customers.
Volvo Group Australia is part of Swedish-based Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines.