As drought continues to ravage rural NSW, one local pub has joined forces with a community organisation to adopt three regional schools doing it tough in the face of what has become one of our country’s worst climate disasters.
The Albion Hotel at Wickham has joined with neighbourhood group Great Lifestyle of Wickham (GLOW), to provide support for three schools where students are struggling due to the impact their farming families are feeling from the drought.
Hotelier Brian McDermott said partnering with GLOW's Lyn Kilby, who grew up in rural NSW, provided a great opportunity for the pub and its patrons to lend a hand where it is needed most.
"After talking with Lyn who is a regular here, as well as GLOW’s Joyce Foster, we knew we had an opportunity to help in some way. As an individual it can be hard to make a difference, but together with our patrons, we knew we could contribute something that would help," he said.
"In times like these it can be hard for schools in drought affected communities. The families don't have enough money to pay for uniforms, equipment, sport, and excursions.
"As much as we'd like to, we knew we couldn't support the whole state, so through Lyn and Joyce's knowledge of rural NSW we chose schools at Trangie, Quambone and Gulargambone and will provide $1,000 to each school."
Students from Trangie Central School with the vouchers
"As much as we'd like to, we knew we couldn't support the whole state, so through Lyn and Joyce's knowledge of rural NSW we chose schools at Trangie, Quambone and Gulargambone and will provide $1,000 to each school..."
The program, entitled Adopt A School was set up by Lyn and Joyce through each school's P&C and principals to ensure full transparency & governance of how funds would be used, and is something they hope may become a state-wide initiative.
"The funds are provided directly to the P&C accounts. Vouchers are then given to students who need items like uniforms, calculators, sporting gear and maybe even pharmacy items. They are redeemed at local businesses and this not only helps the students, but also boosts the local economy," Lyn said.
"This is something we would love to see extended to other schools by having other pubs and businesses join in the Adopt A School program."
At the Albion Hotel, local patrons have been getting behind the initiative filling collection tins, supporting raffles and making donations.
Donations to the initiative can be made directly to the schools using the following account details:
Trangie Public School
Account name: Trangie P and C
Acc no: 100260309
Quambone Public School
Acc no: 00900254
Gurlargambone Public School
Acc name: Gurlargambone P and C
Acc no: 300028871