New Hub to support bushfire and disaster recovery and resilience

A new virtual resilience and recovery hub servicing the Blue Mountains region is being established by Springwood Neighbourhood Centre Co-Operative Ltd (SNCC).

SNCC CEO, Toni Quigley, said they were delighted to received the grant under the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery (BLER) Fund.

Springwood Neighbourhood Centre's Reslience and Recovery Hub team, from left, Niki Read, Amie Andrews, Joanne Fielding and Katherine Starr outside the centre.

Springwood Neighbourhood Centre's Reslience and Recovery Hub team, from left, Niki Read, Amie Andrews, Joanne Fielding and Katherine Starr outside the centre.

"The funding will enable us to extend our reach beyond Springwood and support the wider Blue Mountains community," said Ms Quigley. "It will enable the development of local solutions to local needs, delivered by local organisations. We know this is very important to our community, particularly in the bushfire recovery and resilience space."

SNCC project leader, Katherine Starr, said they would undertake a community-focused response to the needs of locals who have been affected by successive disasters with minimal time to recover from each event let alone build resilience or preparedness to face future setbacks.

"Genuine collaboration with members of our community and local organisations is key," she said.

"Our first objective is to design a website that connects the Blue Mountains residents with a trusted and centralised source of existing and evolving disaster-related information, resources and support. We aim to simplify the experience people have when navigating a complex system of information before, during or after a disaster."

Awareness and education workshops and events will be delivered across the region over the next 18 months with several of the sessions designed to inform and support people with specific needs such as families, the vulnerable, the isolated and those living with a mental illness or disability.

The project also includes a grassroots initiative involving a mentoring program and team of trained volunteers helping vulnerable community members prepare their homes and properties for forthcoming bushfire seasons.

Ms Starr said: "We're incredibly passionate and excited for the opportunity we have to contribute to building a strong, informed and resilient community."

For further information about the project or to express an interest in participating in a future focus group as a resident representative, email your enquiry to projectleader@sncc.org.au or phone Katherine Starr on 4751 3033.

The grant received under the BLER Fund is jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments and supports social and economic recovery of communities impacted by the recent 2019-2020 bushfires through locally led initiatives.