Laidley charity catches breath
THE team at Laidley Community Centre has finally had a chance to catch its breath after an intense and taxing two months of responding to the floods.
The centre in Mary St had flooding to 60 per cent of its floors on the Tuesday and required a big effort first thing Wednesday to mop out the mud and remove carpets and damaged furnishings.
Despite a few early morning customers being unhappy that they weren't served, the team managed to have key services running again by midday.
The Centrelink Agency delivered more than 4800 services to well over 1500 people in the two weeks following the flood, mostly assisting with Disaster Relief Payments until Centrelink deployed their own officers to town.
Staff were still faxing client application forms up to 9pm on at least one day to ensure flood-affected people received support as soon as possible.
“Our volunteers and paid staff took on a mammoth task and operated far beyond our intended capacity,” manager Neil Williamson said.
“We received truckloads of donated clothing, food and toys and began distributing them, and assisted families with immediate bills and food vouchers.”
“We were heavily involved in co-ordinating teams of volunteers and sending them out to clean footpaths, patch driveways, deliver furniture and manage the physical donations.
Laidley Community Centre also utilised their Facebook page to keep the community informed about the town water contamination status, bottled water supplies, items needed for donations and to coordinate volunteers.
The local charity hopes that in coming months the community will get behind their own fund-raising efforts to ensure they can maintain these key services when the community is in need.