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FRRR launches NSW flood recovery fund

April 23rd, 2015

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) today announced that it has established a Disaster Recovery Fund to support the medium to long-term recovery of rural and regional areas in New South Wales affected by recent storms and resulting flooding. The Fund is tax deductible and accepts donations from individuals and from trusts, foundations and corporations.

FRRR has been supporting communities affected by natural disasters since 2006. Working through a collaborative model, the Foundation raises funds at the time of disasters which are then distributed through community grants beginning 12-18 months after the event.

Chief Executive Officer, Alexandra Gartmann, says that this approach ensures that resources are available to support communities even though the focus has usually moved on to the next disaster.

“As we are seeing now, emergency services, governments and relief agencies do an amazing job during and immediately after a disaster, bringing people to safety and ensuring their immediate needs are met. From our experience, disasters have a long-lasting impact and communities still need support long after the focus has moved on to the next event: organisations still need rebuilding; people need ongoing support to help them face life again; and community spirit needs restoring,” she explained.

FRRR’s program helps communities address needs that typically emerge in the 12-18 months after a disaster event. The kinds of things that can be funded are diverse and reflect the needs the community identifies, but it could include minor infrastructure, arts programs, mental health, volunteer fatigue, training, leadership, resilience, communication and disaster prevention and mitigation.

“Our program ensures that communities are given time to conduct adequate research and planning to ensure that social and physical infrastructure is appropriate, sustainable and meets the future needs of the community. It means funds are available when the gaps are identified,” Ms Gartmann explained


Projects funded in previous disaster recovery programs include:

  • training for volunteers in disaster recovery skills - eg using chainsaws;
  • activities that encourage people to connect – eg singing; art; craft
  • rebuilding key community assets, such as local halls and meeting places, playgrounds and gardens, so there are physical places to meet and connect;
  • engagement programs (eg mental health, community gardens, health and fitness) that
  • support people with practical activities;
  • environmental rehabilitation; andeconomic recovery activities for the community or for an industry sector.

​​Ms Gartmann says that these are often the kinds of projects that cannot be funded anywhere else – yet they are in high demand from communities in the recovery phase.

Donations may be made via FRRR’s website: www.frrr.org.au/donate.

FRRR is still fundraising to support communities affected by natural disasters across the country earlier this year, including:

  • NT impacted by Cyclone Lam - February 2015
  • QLD impacted by Cyclone Marcia - February 2015
  • WA impacted by the Manjimup bushfire - February 2015
  • SA impacted by the Adelaide Hills bushfires - January 2015
  • VIC impacted by the Moyston bushfires - January 2015
  • VIC impacted by the Creighton's Creek bushfires - December 2014
     

About FRRR

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) was established in 2000 to support the renewal of rural, regional and remote communities in Australia through partnerships with the private sector, philanthropy and governments. In its first ten years, FRRR managed the distribution of more than $51 million in grants and provided substantial capacity building support to community organisations across the nation.

To find out more about FRRR, visit www.frrr.org.au.

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