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Byron Shire
April 14, 2024

Biz step up to feed frontline staff

Latest News

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Catherine Perversi, Sarah Armstrong and Amanda Bannatyne. Photo Jeff Dawson

Local paramedics will be able to get free coffee and snacks at selected local cafes, as part of a major community effort to support frontline health workers during the ongoing and increasing COVID-19 outbreak.

Staff in Emergency Departments, ICUs and COVID wards in Byron and Lismore will be provided with tasty and nutritious meals.

Some of the approximately $25,000 raised so far will also be spent on setting up accounts at local cafes so that paramedics can grab a free coffee and a snack as they rush from one job to another. 

‘We really wanted to support the paramedics as well, but it’s a bit hard to reach them because they’re out on the road so much,’ said Sarah Armstrong, one of the key organisers of the fundraiser.

‘At the moment, we’re figuring out which cafes are the most popular with the paramedics when they’re on the road.’

Incredible support from local businesses

The project has also received incredible support from local businesses, even though many are facing their own struggles because of the pandemic. More than a dozen shops and food-related businesses have put their hands up to help, providing everything from fruit and snacks to a mobile cool room and a coffee machine.

‘So many places that we’ve sourced food from are already dealing with their own staffing issues as a result of the pandemic,’ Ms Armstrong said.

‘Some aren’t sure whether they can open each day, but they’re still willing to help.’

The organisers will, this week, provide their first delivery of meals to Byron Hospital, handing over dozens of pre-cooked dishes prepared by local vegan caterer, Yummify.

Lismore Hospital will also receive their first shipment soon, with local business Mayfield Kitchen providing the meals.

The impact of the project is being felt before the food even hits the plates of nurses and other frontline staff.

A morale booster

‘We’ve had messages from staff saying how much it boosts their morale,’ Ms Armstrong says.

‘To know that the community is supporting them and expressing their appreciation makes a big difference.’

Organisers are asking locals to who haven’t yet donated to visit the project’s GoFundMe page Front Up for the Font Line and help them achieve their goal of raising $50,000.

‘We’re encouraging people to tune in with anyone they know who might want to donate and point them toward the Facebook page or the GoFundMepage: www.bit.ly/3rrJo70.

Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

Fresh air federal funds for Northern Rivers schools in need

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COVID-19 pandemic has cut life expectancy globally

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COVID-19 update for New South Wales

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COVID-19 update for the NNSWLHD – May 23

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AEC says COVID voters can phone from home

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COVID-19 update: May 16

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It’s National Volunteer Week

Volunteering Australia says volleys are the backbone of the country in times of crisis and emergency.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


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