The Balmoral community recovery hub set up to help Wollondilly and Wingecarribee's fire-affected residents has ceased operations due to corona virus concerns.
The decision was made after the volunteers and agencies involved in running the shelter found that most people were self-isolating as non-essential services shut down or moved online.
Many of the volunteers running the centre were particularly vulnerable to the risk of infection due to their age, so the decision made to close the recovery hub with support from both Wollondilly and Wingecarribee Shire Councils.
Wollondilly mayor Matthew Deeth said he council was grateful for all of the support the hub offered fir-affected locals.
"I would like to thank all the volunteers who have kept this valuable support service running right in the midst of the fire affected area, providing help to those families in the Wollondilly and Wingecarribee shires who lost homes or had property damaged," he said.
"I would particularly like to thank Kim Hill from the Rural Fire Service (RFS) and Kerry O Grady from Picton Country Womens Association (CWA) for their dedication to providing locals with a place to access quality food and household items during the bushfire recovery period.
"This was a great example of locals looking after each other, and it shows us the resilience of people in our area - something that will be very important we move into this next challenge for our communities."
Ms Hill and Ms O'Grady set up the recovery centre in the wake of the devastating bushfires earlier this year.
The centre offered items including clothing in all sizes, shoes, non-perishable food items, fruit and vegetables, toys, small white goods, linen, crockery, tools and much more.
Ms O'Grady told the Advertiser earlier this year people were extremely grateful for the donations.
"People are just over-whelmed," she said.
"They come in and they just cannot believe what people are willing to give to them.
The team who managed the hub are keen to continue providing support to residents, so a range of options are being considered such as making goods available via a number of agencies, using www.givit.org.au/services.
Further information will be shared about ways to access local services in coming days.
Affected residents are encouraged contact the following agencies for assistance:
- Wingecarribee Bushfire Recovery Hotline on 1800 316 500 or www.yoursaywingecarribee.com.au/bushfire-recovery
- Wollondilly Shire Council on 4677 1100 or www.wollondilly.nsw.gov.au/disaster-and-public-health
- Service NSW on 13 77 88 or www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/bushfire-customer-care-service
- Laing O'Rourke on 1800 007 539. Laing O'Rourke representatives have been visiting registered properties in the Wollondilly and Wingecarribee areas to arrange site clean-up. If you have not yet been contacted about your clean-up it is important that you double check they have your details as soon as possible.
- Support from non-government organisations www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/bushfire-customer-careservice/support-non-government-organisations-ngos.