26 C
Byron Shire
April 13, 2024

Big cheque for WardellCORE

Latest News

Rains, drains, floods

The ABC news and Guardian recently published reports of the potential return of La Niña in 2024 bringing similar...

Other News

Early childhood education trial for Kyogle and Federal

Working families in Kyogle and Federal Village are set to get more access to early childhood education and care including new programs.

Speed limits

I’m surprised to see that when you drive from Bangalow to Lismore via Clunes and Bexhill the speed limit...

Share the love cactus

Want to experience fresh, new music? A new local band has germinated from the fertile artistic soils of the Northern Rivers. Hashimoto’s Cactus is the lovechild of Stephen Lovelight, who is one of the members of the Round Mountain Girls.

Helmets please

A friend of mine fell off her bike on the rail trail. She lost quite a lot of bark,...

Itching for a Mullum flea market?

A new flea market will launch this Saturday, April 13 from 8am until 2pm at the Mullum Community College campus.

Jack Evans Boat Harbour upgrade to provide vital access to water as climate warms

Having somewhere to swim (or just connect with water), like a country town swimming pool, the local creek or river swimming hole, or the ocean, is important in a hot country like Australia.

Southern Cross Credit Union staff present the big cheque to WardellCORE. Photo David Lowe.

This week, Wardell’s Community Organised Resilience Effort was awarded $10,000 by Southern Cross Credit Union to start a community garden program.

Cassie Nicole is the Community and Sponsorship Specialist at SCCU. She told The Echo the credit union awards community grants each year, supporting people and organisations across the region who were doing important work.

‘As a credit union, it’s important for us to make a difference in the community we live in,’ she said, ‘and we invest our profits back into better products for the customers and the community.’

WardellCORE is one of three organisations to be supported in this round of grants. Ms Nicole said she was impressed with all that they had provided for the Wardell community since the devastating floods, from mental health support to food, furniture and other practical needs.

‘Yes, all sorts of things to really bring the community together and be a space where people can come and feel a little bit more secure,’ she said. ‘And I suppose bounce off each other and make sure that everybody in the community is recovering. It’s been fantastic, yeah.’

Ms Nicole said the credit union was very happy to be supporting the community garden program over the next twelve months, which would have an emphasis on therapeutic horticulture. ‘We’ll come down with volunteers, we’ll also promote it for the guys so that everybody knows who they are, what they’re doing and see if we can get a little bit more interest in helping out.’

WardellCORE pleased to receive big cheque from Southern Cross Credit Union. Photo David Lowe.

Helen Wenzel is the SCCU branch manager at Ballina. She said it was a real honour to present the cheque to an organisation that’s doing great work for the community.

Proud recipients

Joel Orchard from WardellCORE said the group was very proud to be supported by the SCCU community grant program.

‘This funding is going to enable us to do a range of different gardening activities for the community, help people recover their home gardens and support people to grow more food at home.’

He said there would be workshops, activities and home garden construction.

And how have things been going at WardellCORE? ‘The community’s needs are changing over time,’ said Mr Orchard. ‘But yeah, we’re still experiencing a high level of demand for support and services. We’re still meeting people who are coming in and accessing support for the first time.

‘There’s quite a transient community still, lots of people who are in limbo with insurance and those kinds of challenges.’

He said WardellCORE was all about providing community connection, in all its forms. ‘We’re committed to being here. And we’re really fortunate to have funding to be able to offer support for the next year or two.’

How is the space at the old bank working for you? ‘I think we’ve really settled into more of a neighborhood center kind of vibe,’ said Mr Orchard.

‘It feels comfortable for people. They can just come and unwind and relax here. And we’ve built a community of support. So it’s not just professional services; it’s peers, and people can sit down, have a cup of tea, you know, play a game of cards, or sit and have a scone.’

WardellCORE’s Venetia Scott modelling one of the fundraising T shirts on sale now. Photo David Lowe.

Green shoots

Apart from Wardell CORE, Joel Orchard and Venetia Scott are known for their passion for gardening and farming. Does this grant mean that you’re both bringing those skills into what’s happening here?

Mr Orchard agreed, saying big picture resilience had to look beyond emergency humanitarian aid and recovery.

‘People are ready now to start preparatory thinking,’ he said. ‘Knowing your neighbors and community gardening and food activities are all really helpful. It’s like a shared table, with a lot of shared values around sustainability and localism and community as well.’

Joel Orchard said they would be using the funding to employ a distributed gardening model, with new gardens to be established at WardellCORE HQ and around the community.

‘We’ll support people to recover and return gardens that they’ve had at home,’ he said. ‘That’s a part of their healing and offers them a place of respite. People really value having gardens to use as part of the healing. And then we’re also looking at establishing a proper community garden in Wardell as well.’

Mr Orchard said they were working with Ballina Council on a couple of potential locations. ‘Hopefully, we’ll have a bigger piece of land so that we can establish some more sustainable programs,’ he said.

‘We’ve got really good proposals and lots of strong endorsement from the community, so that’s the best place to start from.’

Cassie Nicole from Southern Cross Credit Union said there was more information about the grants program on the website. The other two recipients this year were Ballina’s Australian Seabird and Turtle Rescue and the Murwilumbah Sporting Car Club, which will be offering advanced driver training for young people.


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.

3 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Peace

Elimination by people-power voting is necessary to remove dictators from Russia, Israel, China, Iran, wannabe (again!) North Korea, to avoid what is heading toward...

Itching for a Mullum flea market?

A new flea market will launch this Saturday, April 13 from 8am until 2pm at the Mullum Community College campus.

Bangalow Chamber Music Festival relocates to Qld 

After two decades, Bangalow Chamber Music Festival organisers have announced they will be moving the event to Mount Tamborine, Qld, after ‘increased costs and lower than average ticket sales’.

Success for Queensland’s first drug testing at Rabbits Eat Lettuce festival

The sun was peeking through the clouds as festival-goers arrived at the Rabbits Eat Lettuce festival in Queensland over the Easter weekend.