Children invited to share their memories of the Green Wattle Creek bushfire

Children invited to share their memories of the Green Wattle Creek bushfire

The Green Wattle Creek bushfire damaged or destroyed more than 30 homes in Wollondilly earlier this year and residents are still recovering from devastating blaze.

Wollondilly Council has partnered with the Wollondilly North Rotary Club to help the shire's youngest residents who were affected by the bushfire.

The Wollondilly Children's Voices project will capture the voices of children and teenagers who were impacted by the fire to ensure that their wellbeing has been considered and their perspective incorporated into future preparedness and recovery initiatives.

Wollondilly mayor Matthew Deeth said it was important that children had a safe space to share their experiences.

"I would like to thank Wollondilly North Rotary for providing the funding to allow us to bring this valuable project to life for the families of Wollondilly," he said.

"This is about giving children and young people a voice and encouraging them to express their emotions.

"Talking about and sharing experiences is part of the healing process for all ages. The information we get from this project will also help us to prepare for future disasters."

The project will bring together a team of council staff, including a qualified childcare worker, a primary school educator and a practicing child psychologist.

The children will be encouraged to share their personal recollections and thoughts of the Green Wattle Creek bushfire event whilst participating in activities such as painting, craft and play activities to express their experience.

They will also be invited to draw pictures which will be used to develop a children's story book to capture their experiences of during and after the bushfire.

Former Wollondilly North Rotary Club president Mark Davies said the club was pleased to be able to support this worthwhile cause.

"Working in conjunction with Di North, our past district governor, we were able to make a successful submission to RABS (Rotary Australia Benevolent Society) to obtain this grant," he said.

"It has been a devastating year here in the Wollondilly shire and to be able to help the young children any way we can in the recovery and healing process is a valuable goal."

Ms North said the $15,000 grant would be supporting a worthwhile cause.

"Some of these kids have been traumitised by the fires," she said.

"Rotary is proud of our investment into youth programs because young people are our future and they need our support."

The support workshops will be held at different locations throughout August.

The feedback will be included in the Final Activate Wollondilly 2020 Wollondilly Long Term Community Recovery and Resilience Plan.

Wollondilly Council will also try to identify other resources to assist children and young people in their resilience building and preparedness for future disaster events to be incorporated into the council's Get Ready toolkit.

Workshops will take place in Buxton on August 12, The Oaks on August 24, Picton on August 26 and in Warragamba on August 27.

Registrations are essential. Contact project leader Robyn Syphers on 4677 9514 or for more information.