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Step by Step Recovery Support Service Editorial - September 2020

 

No-one can say that 2020 has not been a year of profound challenges and changes.   As we approach the first anniversary of the bushfires (and floods) it’s really important to step up your self-care and the care of your loved ones.  Some people may want to attend community memorials, others will choose to spend time with family and friends. For others it may be important to spend the day alone. This important milestone (one that nobody invited) can bring with it painful memories and reminders of what has been lost and what has been changed forever.  It can also be a time to reflect on the journey travelled so far and the road ahead.  You may feel very uncertain about the road ahead…that’s OK.  None of us are sure of what the future might hold.  This is a time for respite, rest and reflection, reaching out and connecting with each other.   It’s OK to not feel OK.  It’s OK to grieve.  Tears can be healing.  You’re not alone and you’re not forgotten. 

Step by Step bushfire recovery support service is here to walk alongside people (affected by the bushfires and floods) living in the Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Mid-Western regions.  We can meet you for a chat and a cuppa wherever you feel comfortable, at home, your favourite café, over the phone or online.  We can also help you with disaster recovery grant applications, practical support, recovery updates and link you with your local network of health and community services.

Step by Step is here to listen and to walk with you.   There’s no blame, there’s no shame….. we help give your feelings a name.  Remember that you are resilient, you are courageous, you have suffered and you’ve been through so much…but look how far you have come.  Believe that you can keep moving forward step by step. 

Go to this youtube video to listen to disaster recovery expert and clinical psychologist, Dr Rob Gordon talk about what anniversary events mean to individuals, families and communities.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmju_D54F_A&feature=youtu.be

Step by Step can be contacted on 0417 298  832  or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Go to our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Step-by-Step-Recovery-Support-Service-110797763847269/?ref=bookmarks

Lifeline's 13 HELP (13 43 57) is a dedicated bushfire recovery line available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for any person needing support as a result of the bushfires.

Step by step team

 The friendly Step by Step Team


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STAGES OF RECOVERY

Blue Mountains Region

It’s been about 7 months now since the bushfires in our region. You might find it interesting to know that the recovery process does go in stages. As a community, the intense time of directly responding to a disaster is known as the Heroic phase – there’s high adrenalin, lots of stress and people come together to help in heroic ways. When the immediate threat has passed, we experience the Honeymoon phase of having survived and of naturally wanting to help each other. There are lots of promises and donations and a hope and expectation of action and support in recovery.

By 6 months or so we realise things are moving slowly. It might be that government support is not quite forthcoming, you may experience insurance delays or impediments to cleanup or reconstruction. Disaster response agencies have moved on and the press and wider public interest have dropped away. People are tired with the ongoing effort of recovery – this is known as the Disillusionment phase. We get on with taking care of our own lives, properties and losses, communities can feel fractured and disconnected from each other.

It’s in this phase that local support is so important. Communities can lean on local services who will walk alongside them through this phase of recovery, understanding that rebuilding and integrating the recovery experience takes time.

Lasting for several years after a disaster is the Reconstruction phase. Having the right support available, whether it’s financial, emotional or practical can really assist communities and individuals to recover well and move forward with their lives.

Step By Step are here to support you with this longer-term recovery process, and we know the journey is unique to each person – we’d love to hear your story.

Senga and Michael

 

BUSHFIRE RECOVERY ON WHEELS

We’re a group of local outreach services who can support you and your family in whatever way you may need, with practical, emotional and confidential support – no judgement, no labels. No door is the wrong door and you won’t have to retell your story to lots of different people.

We can help with applying for grants, small property repairs, essential household items, grocery vouchers and a professional listening ear to support the whole family’s emotional wellbeing.

Step By Step Bushfire Recovery Support Service: providing practical, emotional and holistic support for the whole family. Call Ruth 0466936747
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rural Adversity Mental Health Program: linking people to local mental health services and resources, education, mental health and wellbeing, contact Sonia on 0448 125 676 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Headspace Bushfire Recovery Team: youth wellbeing and youth care coordination, contact Charley for the Blue Mountains on 0438 871 120 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Salvos National Bushfire Recovery Service: assisting with your practical needs, goods and grants, contact Karen 0429549494 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NSW HEALTH Bushfire & COVID 19 Trauma Recovery Team: supporting your emotional wellbeing. Call Vanessa 0429 011 134 or Beaver 0427 309 823 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre Bushfire Recovery: providing practical assistance and vouchers, call Morna on 4754 4050 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Rural Recovery: assisting primary producers, contact Anthea on 0409 440 297 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GRANTS & ASSISTANCE

NSW Primary Producers Special Disaster Grant $75,000
Extended until December 15, 2020. www.raa.nsw.gov.au

Red Cross Primary Residence Rebuild & Repair Grants
close August 31st 2020 Call Red Cross on 1800 733 276 or check redcross.org.au/grants We can help with completing your application

NSW Small Business Grants
Up to $50,000 available if your business has been directly affected by bush fire. There are also $10,000 loans available Call 13 77 88

Register at Service NSW for Block CleanupMYST
apply.service.nsw.gov.au/bushfire-cleanup or call 13 77 88
Property owners will be contacted to discuss damage and eligibility
For complaints call 1800 007 539
or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Free Counselling & Mediation
Counselling for individuals, couples or families -
By phone In person Online 1800 864 846
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. www.uniting.org

Financial Counselling Australia
Call 1800 007 007

Disaster Assistance Finder
https://disasterassistance.service.nsw.gov.au/